Gerard Pique reveals Lionel Messi's early struggles

Pique reveals Messi's early struggles
© 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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona98102632325
2Valencia963025101521
3Real Madrid96211871120
4Atletico MadridAtletico9540145919
5Leganes952283517
6Villarreal95131510516
7Real Betis95131917216
8Sevilla951398116
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10Celta Vigo93241814411
11Athletic Bilbao93241010011
12Levante9252911-211
13Getafe9234111019
14Espanyol8233711-49
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo8224916-78
16EibarEibar9216320-177
17GironaGirona8134713-66
18Las PalmasLas Palmas9207722-156
19AlavesAlaves9108314-113
20Malaga9018420-161