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

Lionel Messi returned to Barcelona this week to dine with several of his former club teammates from the Camp Nou but Gerard Pique was notably not invited to the event

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Lionel Messi dined with multiple former Barcelona teammates on Monday evening but there was one notable absentee at the meeting.

The Argentine superstar left the Catalan club after 16 seasons in their first team this summer in a high-profile summer transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi flew into the city on Monday and had a highly-publicised dinner with former teammates of his at the Camp Nou.

The 34-year-old dined with the club’s long-serving players Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, with the three players enjoying a strong friendship away from the pitch.

It is not only the players who stay close both during and after life at the Blaugrana but their families are too, with the partners of each player sharing close friendships.

Have Your Say! Should Messi return to Barcelona before he retires? Tell us what you think here.

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) and Barcelona’s Spanish defender Gerard Pique sit on the bench during the Spanish league football match Villarreal CF against Barcelona at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on April 2, 2019. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The event took place at a high-end Japanese restaurant in the city – where Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez was also dining ahead of his birthday on Tuesday.

Xavi starred alongside Messi for the club for a decade and returned in November last year to replace Ronald Koeman as the club’s boss.

Pepe Costa, a former employee of Barca, was also having dinner at the restaurant.

Yet there was one notable absentee from the event as the club’s experienced central defender Gerard Pique was not present.

Last season, Pique was one of the four captains at the Blaugrana along with Messi, Busquets and Alba as it is customary in Spanish football for a club to have a leading group of players (rather than in English football, where there is only one team captain).

Pique was not invited to Messi’s dinner in the Catalan capital on Monday

Yet the central defender did not receive an invite for the dinner, as per a report from Catalan outlet Diario Sport.

Following on from Messi’s exit in the summer, he was replaced among the group of captains by La Masia graduate Sergi Roberto.

At the end of the dinner, Messi did not want to make any statement to the group of journalists who had assembled at the door of the restaurant.

Messi only stopped briefly to sign the Barcelona shirt of a fan, but he did not want to answer any questions from the media about a possible return to the club.

The Argentine’s return to the city coincides with the closing of the January transfer window, although his meeting with his former teammates is not thought to have anything to do with a possible return.

It has been suggested that the dinner was just a casual meeting between friends taking advantage of the permission given by Messi’s PSG coach, Mauricio Pochettino, due to the brief Ligue 1 break.

Messi has made a sluggish start to life in the France capital with just one goal in Ligue 1 so far this season as he suffered with injury setbacks and has only recently recovered from Covid.

The Argentine will return to Spain in the Champions League Round of 16 as PSG face Real Madrid.

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