Football Football

Xavi named captain, tiny French dream dashed


XAVI-ENRIQUEBARCELONA, August 8- Barcelona have named Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets — in that order

The results of the voting held on Tuesday were revealed to the rest of the squad on Thursday, the club said on its official website.

Messi and Busquets were added to the list after the departures of Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes, who had served as first-team captain and second vice-captain respectively.

However, both Messi and Busquets have already worn the captain’s armband in the first team and both will be familiar with the new role.

Xavi, who has retired from international football to focus on Barca, had been the vice-captain for the past six seasons.

Meanwhile, the big-time dreams of a tiny French village football team have been shattered by the authorities after the League refused Luzenac (pop. 649) permission to play in the second division.

Luzenac’s fairytale rise from obscurity culminated in their winning promotion from the third tier of French football last season.

But on Friday, they were brought down to earth with a jolt as the Professional Football League (LFP) ruled they could not take their place in Ligue 2.

The ruling said: “The club does not have a ground which conforms to the required safety standards.”

Last season, the club from the Pyrenees, whose own Stade Paul Fedou has only one stand and 400 seats, played their home games at nearby Foix, where the capacity was just 3,000.

And they had reached agreement with Toulouse rugby club to play their matches there this season.

However, the League said they had not offered an alternative “solution of a ground which did conform to these standards” and a unanimous vote of the 24 members of the committee means they will have to start the new season back in the third tier.