Last night was very emotional, as Gerard Pique played his last game at the Camp Nou. After announcing his retirement, Many current and former teammates posted how they saw the legendary defender. Furthermore, even players that never played with Pique congradulated him for his legendary career. But there are some that kept quiet, and sometimes silence is the loudest kind of noise. These former teammates are of course Luis Suarez and Leo Messi – Who didn’t say anything to Gerard Pique.
Leo Messi and Gerard Pique played together since they were 13 years old. For many years, it seemed like they are part of the united veteran group of players that were very dominant since the last year of Luis Enrique in charge. People called it ‘Grupo de Amigos’: Messi, Suarez, Alba, Busquets. Even Cesc Fabregas – Gerard Pique was seen as part of that group. But the truth is Gerard Pique wasn’t really a part of this group, and there are some reasons for that.
The Shakira and Antonela Roccuzzo part
Gerard Pique met Shakira during a photoshoot before the World Cup in 2010. During that time, Pique was still in a relationship with Nuria Tomás. Nuria was a friend of Messi’s wife, Antonela Roccuzzo.
During the years after, Messi and Pique continued to have a good relationship. But you could never see Shakira and Antonela take pics together. Moreover, every summer we saw pics of Leo and other teammates having a vacation together, and Pique was never there.
Although Gerard and Leo continued to have a good relationsthip from the outside, the relationship between Antonela and Shakira had to have an influence.
Pact with the devil?
Earlier this year, Sique Rodriguez, Sergi Escudero and Adria Soldevila published a book called ‘From Glory to Hell’ that goes back to some of the things that happened during the era of Bartomeu as a president.
Bartomeu did the damage that he did during the years. It even got Leo Messi to ask to leave the club in the summer of 2020. But as we all know, Leo eventually stayed until his contract was expiren in 2021.
In the last days of Bartomeu’s regime, Pique, Ter Stege, De Jong and Lenglet signed a contract extention that meant a deferral of their salaries. ‘Pay me less now and a lot more later’ kind of deal. And Leo Messi didn’t like that at all. It looked like another shady deal from a president who knew that he’s about to leave.
Summer 2021 – Last Straw?
Summer 2021 came, and with it the shock of Leo Messi leaving the club. Messi felt betrayed by the club, the board, the president and he moved away to Paris.
The day that Messi left, Pique posted this message:
Nothing will ever be the same again. Neither the Camp Nou, nor the city of Barcelona, nor ourselves. After more than 20 years at the Club, you will stop wearing the Barça shirt. The reality is sometimes very harsh.
But then, in late August of 2021, Pique, Busquets and Alba all deferred their wages.
Accoring to ‘From Glory to Hell’, Leo Messi didn’t receive Pique’s salary reduction well. He reportedly felt angered that Pique did not agree to it before the Argentine had to leave due to the hefty wage bill violating the FFP regulations.
During an interview to ‘Sky Sports’ few months ago, Pique said that he cried the day Leo Messi left the club. However, shortly after the interview was published, Gerard Romero, from Jijantes, has published an Instagram ‘Story’ from a close friend of Leo Messi’s family:
“Gerard Pique you are so false and terrible , not only you didn’t cry, but you also told the mediocre Laporta that if he wanted to build a winning team he had to sell Leo Messi. The same Messi who rescued you from Zaragoza when no one wanted you because you were spiteful, envious and a bad teammate”
In the book ‘From Glory to Hell’, they say that Leo Messi “Hates Pique more than Bartomeu”. Can they ever restore their friendship? Not sure.
Did Pique really ask Laporta to not renew Leo Messi’s contract? I don’t think so. It doesn’t make sense and it looks like cheap gossip. However, with Gerard and his ability to talk to presidents and superiors, anything can happen.
Messi might still write a polite message for Pique, as they been through a lot together. But knowing Leo and his personality, I don’t think he will do that.
There was 0% chances that Leo Messi would return to Barcelona while Pique is still there. Will it happen now? Let’s wait and see.
Gerard Pique gave a lot to Barcelona and he’s an absolute legend of the club and the game. But personal realtionships have an affect of people, and it looks like Leo and Geri were never that distant.
Hopefully, they’ll be able to restore their friendship one day.