Barcelona have officially named their captains for the 2023/24 season while on their pre-season tour of the USA. Midfielder Sergi Roberto, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, defender Ronald Araujo and midfielder Frenkie de Jong will have the honour in that order.
The captains are always voted for by the players, so this is a peer reward for the players listed above. Considering Roberto is not expected to play that much this season, ter Stegen is expected to carry the armband for the majority of the season.
Roberto has spent two seasons as Barca’s third captain behind Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique and finally makes the jump to the top job. As a senior member of the squad and a well-respected voice in the locker room, this really doesn’t come as a surprise.
ter Stegen joined Barcelona from Borussia Mönchengladbach back in 2014 and has gone on to make over 250 appearances for the Catalan club, and after acting as a captain last season following the retirement of Gerard Pique, he was expected to make the cut again, this time jumping to the #2 spot on the list.
Two new names in the Barcelona captain’s room at Barcelona in Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong
Uruguyuan Ronald Araujo makes his first appearance as a Barca captain after joining in 2018. Araujo is already known for his vocal leadership on the pitch and interestingly, he spoke about being a leader before he was named the captain:
"“It’s always a source of pride to be captain of this team, but it’s not up to me. It’s something the players choose. I consider myself a leader with or without the armband. I consider myself a born leader and that will always be the case”,"
Frenkie de Jong makes his first appearance after being named the 4th captain, and that completes a remarkable turnaround for the Dutch midfielder.
Just a year ago he was on the brink of joining Manchester United, but the versatile midfielder dug his heels in and refused to move, despite Barca accepting a deal.
Over the last 12 months, he’s become an invaluable member of the Xavi first XI and is now deemed untouchable, despite Manchester City being interested in a potential swap deal.