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.

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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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