Secret vote to decide Barcelona's new fourth captain

With Mascherano leaving, a new captain must be chosen

Piqué, Roberto and even Umtiti are the likely candidates

Piqué es el capitán del Barça ante el Sporting de Portugal
Piqué es el capitán del Barça ante el Sporting de Portugal | Ignasi Paredes

Javier Mascherano's January departure from Barcelona will bring an end to his eight years at the club. During that time, he's gone from newbie to one of the more experienced players at the club and is currently one of the four captains, along with Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi. 

With Mascherano gone, Barça will have to occupy the Argentine's place. The tradition is for the four captains to be chosen by a vote among the players. That usually ocurrs in preseason. But this time, the players will have a secret vote to decide who becomes the fourth captain until the end of the season. 

Based on experienced, the player most likely of replacing Mascherano is Gerard Pique, who joined the club in 2008, although he has never been voted as one of the captains in the secret vote in the past. 

Another candidate could be Sergi Roberto. The option of Samuel Umtiti has also been contemplated, despite his lack of time at Camp Nou counting against him. His personality, ability and influence over the next players at the club counts in his favour. 

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