Gerard Pique ‘not invited’ to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona reunion dinner with ex-teammates

The 34-year-old dined with long-serving Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, the three of them have a fantastic relationship off the field

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Leo messi in action against Stade de Reims
(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

On Monday evening, Lionel Messi dined with a number of former Barcelona teammates, but there was one noticeable absence.

In a high-profile summer move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine superstar left the Catalan club after 16 years in the first squad.

Messi arrived in Barcelona on Monday and enjoyed a well-publicized meal with numerous of his old teammates at the Camp Nou.

The 34-year-old dined with long-serving Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, the three of them have a fantastic relationship off the field. Not only do the players remain close during and after their time at the Blaugrana, but so do their families, with each player’s partners establishing strong friendships.

The ceremony was held in a high-end Japanese restaurant in the city, where Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was also celebrating his birthday on Tuesday.

Xavi played alongside Messi for the club for a decade before returning to take over as manager in November of last year, replacing Ronald Koeman. Pepe Costa, a former Barca staffer, was also dining at the restaurant.

Meanwhile, there was one noteworthy absence at the event: Gerard Pique, the club’s renowned center defender.

According to a report from Catalan source Diario Sport, the central defender was not invited to the dinner. Following Messi’s departure in the summer, Sergi Roberto, a La Masia graduate, was promoted to the group of captains.

Messi refused to grant a speech to the throng of media assembled outside the restaurant at the conclusion of the meal. Messi only came to a standstill to sign a fan’s Barcelona shirt, but he kept mum from the press concerning a future return to the club.

The Argentine’s return to the city corresponds with the end of the January transfer window, although his reunion with old colleagues isn’t considered to be connected to a probable return.

It’s been speculated that the meal was basically a casual get-together between friends, leveraging the permission of Messi’s PSG coach, Mauricio Pochettino’s, approval to do so due to the short Ligue 1 break.

Messi has had a tough start to life in Paris, scoring only one goal in Ligue 1 so far this season due to the physical setbacks and only recently recuperating from Covid-19.

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