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Messi Falls Out With Pique?

Despite their many years together in Barcelona's youth ranks and first team, Lionel Messi is reportedly furious with Gerard Pique following his exit from the Catalan club.

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During a recent interview with Spanish publication Sport, Pique was not among the names mentioned by Messi when the Argentine listed the players he is still in contact with.

This has led to rumours suggesting that the Paris Saint-Germain forward and his ex-colleague are no longer on speaking terms, with the journalist who interviewed Messi hinting that he knows what caused this.

According to Lluis Mascaro, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is reportedly aware that Pique played down the importance of his exit from the club in a private conversation with president Joan Laporta.

During the same interview with Mascaro, Messi admitted he was deeply upset by Laporta's recent claim that he wished the 2021 Copa America winner could have stayed at Barcelona and played for free.

In response, he said: "Nobody asked me to play for free but at the same time, it seems to me that the words said by the president are out of place.

"They hurt me because I think he doesn't need to say that, it's like getting the ball off you and not assuming its consequences, or taking charge of things.

"This makes people think or generates a type of doubt that I think I do not deserve."

Here are nine players who reportedly left Barcelona, directly or indirectly, because of Messi: 

Although Messi and Pique came through the club's academy together and reunited in the first team during Pep Guardiola's reign as manager, there have been difficult moments in their relationship.

In 2018, it was claimed that the centre-back and forward had fallen out after a LaLiga defeat to Leganes. Pique had reportedly accused his former teammate of not facing the media when things were tough.

Messi, meanwhile, was said to have hit back at Pique by partly blaming him for that particular loss.

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