Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique’s relationship becomes talking point amid ‘betrayal’ reports

  • Rob Swan
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Lionel Messi’s relationship with former Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique is potentially broken, according to reports.

Forbes ran the headline: ‘Revealed: Lionel Messi Knows Which Former FC Barcelona Teammate Betrayed Him Before His Exit To PSG’ on Tuesday after the director of Spanish outlet SPORT, Lluis Mascaro, revealed fresh information about the two superstars this week.

Speaking on Radioestadio Noche, per Forbes, Mascaro said: "Messi knows that Pique told [Joan] Laporta that if Messi left [the club] nothing [bad] would happen.”

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Why did Messi leave Barcelona and join PSG?

Laporta was Messi’s preferred Barcelona presidential candidate before he was elected for a second spell in March - the Spanish politician was previously at the helm between 2003-2010 - and the Argentine forward was convinced he would continue at Camp Nou at the end of last season.

However, Barça’s perilous financial predicament meant Laporta was unable to finance a deal to keep Messi at the club. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner subsequently moved to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

Messi had accepted a 50 per cent salary reduction but Barcelona were still unable to register the South American after their spending limit for the season was cut to €97 million - almost €300 million less than the previous year.

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Messi hurt by Laporta's comments

Laporta said in October that he’d hoped Messi would offer to play for free, but these comments have hurt Barcelona’s former No. 10.

"The truth is, as I explained when I left, I did everything possible to stay," Messi told SPORT in an interview published this week, per ESPN.

"Never at any moment did they ask me to play for free. They asked me to reduce my salary by 50% and I did it without any problem. We were willing to help the club more. My desire and that of my family was to stay in Barcelona.

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"No one asked me to play for free, but at the same time the president's words were inappropriate. It hurt because I don't think there was any need to say that.

"It's like taking the ball from you and not accepting the responsibility or taking charge of things. That makes people think and generates doubts that I don't think I deserve."

Messi names the Barcelona players he still speaks to

Messi was also asked if he maintained a relationship with any of his former Barcelona teammates. Curiously, there was no mention for Pique, a player who he spent years playing and training alongside from their days in La Masia.

“I speak often with [Sergio] Kun Aguero, who was not a teammate but is a great friend,” Messi added, per Forbes. “[And I also speak] with Busi [Sergio Busquets], [and] with Jordi Alba often [too]."

Messi’s quotes have increased speculation that he no longer gets along with Pique.

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It would be a huge shame if they have fallen out. Messi and Pique both played an integral role in the most successful period in Barcelona’s history.

They won together and suffered together and hopefully they can sort out any differences sooner rather than later.

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