Gerard Pique Has Torn Barcelona To Shreds Over 'Outrageous' Lionel Messi Situation In Remarkable Interview
Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has ripped into the club over their handling of the Lionel Messi saga, just days before El Clasico on Saturday night.
After handing in a transfer request and missing training this summer, the Argentine put an end to the dramatic saga with a tell-all interview.
He remarkably opened up about his fractured relationship with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his frustration with the overall situation at the club.
"I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I've been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside," Messi told Goal in an exclusive, in-depth interview.
Messi eventually decided to stay with the Catalan giants to avoid a legal dispute but the situation has brought plenty of negativity around Blaugrana, with Gerard Pique now getting involved.
In an interview with La Vanguardia newspaper via Marca, a puzzled Pique questioned the whole Messi saga, even suggesting the club should be naming their stadium after the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"As president I would have acted differently. I asked Leo to stay on." he said.
"I didn't have much dealings with him those days because I thought it was a very personal decision. I only said: "Leo, it's a year, and then new people will come."
"I asked myself: "How can it be that the best player in history, who we have had the incredible luck to enjoy, gets up one day and sends a burofax because he feels that they are not listening to him?" Everything is too shocking. What's going on?
"Leo deserves everything. The new stadium and its sponsor should have his name (on it)."
:speaking_head:️ Piqué: "Messi had earned the right to decide his future. This is a player that has given us so much for 16 years, You're obligated to reach a deal with him." pic.twitter.com/xsST60Sj8b- Barça Worldwide (@BarcaWorldwide) October 23, 2020
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Pique also spoke about reports that Barca president Bartomeu knew the club hired a social media agency to criticise players.
"I, as a Barça player, see that my club have spent money, money they're now asking us for [in salary reductions], to criticise us - and I'm not talking about criticising people outside the club, but current players; it's atrocious.
"I asked him for an explanation and he said, 'Gerard, I didn't know about it', and I believed him.
"But then you see that the person who was responsible for doing this is still working at the club. That hurts me a lot. And I'm saying that here because I've already said it to the president, too."
Meanwhile another Barcelona legend, Carles Puyol, believes Messi is once again "motivated" at the club and will remain at the Camp Nou for "many years."
"Like any fan, I did not want Messi to leave, but this is football." he told reporters.
"In the end, he decided to stay. He recently said that he is motivated, that he wants to win and we hope he can continue with us for many years.
"He is a huge asset for La Liga, he is one of the best in the world."
Thoughts on the Messi situation at Barcelona?
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