Pique says Lionel Messi was so small Barcelona told academy kids not to ‘go in hard’ on future superstar
GERARD PIQUE has revealed Barcelona’s academy players were told not to ‘go in hard’ on Lionel Messi when he was a kid because of his diminutive size.
The Argentine, who is just four months younger than Pique, came through the youth set-up at the Catalan giants with the man who is now his Barcelona team-mate.
2Messi and Pique have played together in the first team at Barcelona since 2008Credit: Getty2Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13 after signing for the club on the back of a napkinHowever, Messi required hormone injections between the ages of eight and 14 due to problems relating to his stunted growth.
And Pique has now spoken about how the Argentine was given special treatment by the coaches as a result of his tiny frame.
Speaking to Marca, the Spanish centre-back said: “He was special since he was a child.
“You could see him. He had the ball stuck. You couldn’t get it off him.
“They told us not to get in hard because he was small, but we couldn’t even if we wanted to.
“You didn’t catch it. He had an innate talent.”
Messi opened up about the hormone injections he had as a child during an interview back in 2018.
He said: “I injected my legs once every night. I started at 12 years old. It was not something that left an impression on me.”
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And he went on to add: “At first my parents gave me the injections from when I was eight years old until I learnt. It was a small needle.
“It did not hurt, it was something routine for me that I had to do and I did it normally.”
Since making his first team debut in 2004, Messi has scored a ludicrous 665 goals in 771 appearances for the Spanish titans.
He is currently pursuing an 11th LaLiga title, with Barca five points off table toppers Real Madrid with two games in hand.
Messi’s contract at the Nou Camp comes to an end in the summer as he is continually linked with a move to either Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain.
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