The Candidates to Become the New Canada Captain

The Candidates to Become the New Canada Captain

Atiba Hutchinson is currently still the captain of Canada, and while he says he’s not done yet – it’s clear that the end is near. So the question is, who is next? Luckily there are multiple candidates for the role, and each of them noted below would be a justifiably good choice for the CMNT.


Milan Borjan

Already the captain when Atiba Hutchinson isn’t on the pitch, Borjan has been a leader on and off the field for John Herdman for years now, and is a very vocal and protective member of the team. Should a Canadian teammate of his get into trouble, Borjan is always quick to back up his teammates.

Milan Borjan, Canadian Men’s National Team – Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

At the age of thirty-five with over seventy appearances, Borjan is more than likely the favourite to take over from Hutchinson, especially as he is already the captain of his club side, Red Star Belgrade. The one thing to note about Borjan is that Canada has a lot of upcoming younger goalkeepers who are knocking at the door. Borjan realistically won’t be the starter in 2026, and making him captain would certainly be a short term role for the goalkeeper who grew up in Hamilton Ontario.


Alistair Johnston

If one thing above anything else has become clear since his move to Celtic in January, Alistair Johnston is incredibly charismatic! He’s not shy in front of the camera, a very natural and well-spoken person who always says the right thing, and that can be seen by just how quickly he won over the Glasgow faithful this season.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 02:Alistair Johnston of Celtic celebrates after Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic equalises for Celtic in the 87th minute (2-2) during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC(Richard Callis/MB Media/Getty Images)

He’s also very physical. Johnston has never been one to shy away from a 50/50 ball or not get invoked in the dirtier side of the game. He knows how to put his big mouth to use. Natural leadership, charisma and controlled aggression are very important tangibles when it comes to being a captain. But it can’t be forgotten that Johnston is also an outstanding defender, and would easily be able to lead by example on the pitch.

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Alphonso Davies

England with Harry Kane, France with Kylian Mbappé, Argentina with Lionel Messi, and The Netherlands with Virgil Van Dijk. It’s very common for the most high profile/best player for an international side to be the captain, they are often already the face of the team even without the armband, so Davies becoming captain seems like the natural and well-traveled path.

Alphonso Davies, Canadian Men’s National Team – Canada Soccer photo

Davies clearly loves his country, turning up for Canada squads even against very low-level CONCACAF teams during a pandemic, and he produced a litany of iconic moments for Canada. Should Davies want the captaincy, he would be a heavy favorite for the role. That’s assuming he wants it, from all accounts (but don’t take this as fact) Davies is a shy guy who has turned down media duty before and isn’t exactly the most vocal. The role of captain is whatever the individual wants it to be, and should Davies want the role, he can of course be whatever kind of captain he wants to be.


Jonathan Osorio

A one-club man with Toronto and holder of sixty-two caps for his county, Osorio has been a mainstay with Canada for ten years now and at just thirty years old – still has plenty in the tank. It’s common for teams who designate the role of captain to the most capped player, and with Hutchinson eventually retiring and Borjan perhaps being eventually transitioned out for a younger keeper – then that leaves Osorio as the next man up.

Canada’s Jonathan Osorio, left, celebrates scoring his side’s first goal against Mexico during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 (Mexsport David Leah)

Osorio played in a midfield three this past window alongside Koné and Eustáquio, a combination that looks very interesting for Canada going forward. Osorio will be thirty-three come the start of the next World Cup, so he should still have mileage left in the tank, and should this midfield of Komé-Eustáquio-Osorio keep together, having Osorio as the captain and leader on the pitch will only make that midfield even more influential.

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