'I Cried': Pique’s Shocking Revelation About Messi's Barcelona Exit
13:49 GMT 13.05.2022 (Updated: 11:44 GMT 10.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Joan MonfortBarcelona's Gerard Pique reacts during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 3, 2022
© AP Photo / Joan Monfort
Lionel Messi's exit to Paris Saint-Germain last summer is still regarded as one of the most shocking pieces of news in the football world. The Argentina superstar had spent 21 years in Catalonia, and nobody expected him to leave the Camp Nou.
Gerard Pique has admitted that he shed a tear when Lionel Messi departed Barcelona last summer after the Spanish club failed to renew his contract over financial constraints.
The revelations come in the wake of swirling rumours about a rift between the players, with the country's media claiming that it was the Spanish defender who persuaded the La Liga club's management against signing a new deal with the the Argentinian seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"I cried when Messi left Barcelona. I cried for him. For the career he had at Barca, it would have been great if he had stayed until the end of his career at the club," Pique told ex-Man United star Gary Neville on his YouTube channel "The Overlap".
Pique also insisted that the Catalan side wasn't in a position to extend Messi's tenure as his huge wage bill would have had a large impact on the club's mounting debt, which had reached $1.5 billion.
"I can understand why Messi couldn't renew. The club was suffering a lot economically because of the past president and how he managed the club," he added. "At the end of the day, these are things that happen in life. Sometimes you make a decision and things don't work out," the World Cup and Euro winner explained.
Pique also lavished praise on his former Camp Nou teammate, calling him the greatest player in history and a "God". "For Barcelona and the fans, Messi was like a God, it would have been great if he stayed," he said.
"Lionel Messi is the best player in the history of the game. Messi was Barcelona's best player. I've always said that we had Messi to win titles, but we also had to have a good team. A single player cannot win titles," the 35-year-old football star concluded.