MX23RW : Thursday, July 19 19:02:00

Gerard Pique reveals Lionel Messi's early struggles

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.

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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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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