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Gerard Pique slams Barcelona board over Lionel Messi treatment

Pique slams Barcelona board over Messi treatment
© Reuters
Gerard Pique heavily criticises Barcelona for their handling of Lionel Messi's contract situation over the summer.

Gerard Pique has heavy criticised Barcelona for their handling of Lionel Messi after the Argentine was denied a move away from Camp Nou over the summer.

Messi signalled a desire to leave the Catalan giants at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, but Barca were not prepared to allow the Argentine to leave on a free transfer, which ultimately saw the club's star player reverse his decision.

Pique recently signed a new contract with Ronald Koeman's side, with the experienced centre-back believed to have taken a 50% pay cut due to the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, ahead of Saturday's clash with Real Madrid, the former Spain international has slammed president Josep Bartomeu and the board for their role in the situation.

"How come the best player ever, that we've had the blessed fortune of enjoying, gets up one day and sends a burofax (recorded delivery mail) because you're not listening to him? It's all very shocking. What is happening?" Pique told La Vanguardia.

"Leo deserves everything. The new stadium should be named after him and then whatever else commercial name they want. We have to take better care of our legends, not to disparage them. It makes me angry."

As it stands, Messi is free to leave Barca next summer for nothing as his contract is due to expire, and Manchester City are said to be the favourites to sign the 33-year-old.

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action against Ferencvaros in the Champions League on October 20, 2020
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