Gerard Pique reveals Lionel Messi's early struggles

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi gives a thumbs up on September 18, 2013
© AFP
Gerard Pique says that Lionel Messi struggled to integrate into the Barcelona squad in his early days.

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has revealed that Lionel Messi struggled to integrate into the squad in his early days with the club.

Messi moved to Spain from Newell's Old Boys at the age of 13, but his "very shy" nature "took him time" to settle, according to Pique.

"I remember that during the first few months Leo didn't fit in that well. He sat on his own in the dressing room," Pique, who played for Manchester United before returning to Barcelona in 2008, told Jot Down.

"The rest of the team, we'd all known each other for ages and he'd just arrived, not just from another country, but from another continent.

"He hardly spoke, he was very shy and it took him time. I guess he needed space."

Messi stepped into the Barcelona first team in the 2004-05 campaign.

Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Levante UD vs FC Barcelona at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium in Valencia on January 19, 2014
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