Lionel Messi and Luis Enrique had words but are friendly, says Gerard Pique

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique shed some light on the reported rocky relationship between manager Luis Enrique and star man, Lionel Messi, during an interview with the Spanish radio show El Partido de las 12.

The two were understood to have had a major fallout following Enrique’s decision to bench Messi against Real Sociedad, after the Argentine returned to the team late from winter break. It was also reported that the manager and player had a confrontation while Enrique was officiating a inter-squad scrimmage in training.

In the days following the 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad, Messi was reported to have told club president Josep Bartomeu that he wanted Enrique fired. The Argentina international quickly gave an interview denying that claim.

Regardless of the speculation surrounding the player’s relationship with his manager, Messi has vastly improved his production since the start of the New Year, and Barcelona are benefitting from the apparent “peace” between Enrique and his star forward.

“Luis Enrique is the man in charge, not Messi – obviously,” Gerard Pique told the Spanish radio program. “He’s the coach and he’s the boss although Messi does carry a lot of weight in the dressing room.”

“There’s no such thing as a dressing room which never has discussions. Luis Enrique and Messi had words but it’s in the past now and there is no point in going over it.”

“His [Messi’s] relationship with Luis Enrique has always been good and friendly.”

Since the setback at the Anoeta, Barcelona have won ten straight matches in all competitions and have cut Real Madrid’s lead to a single point in La Liga. La Blaugrana have also advanced to the semi-final of the Copa del Rey and are well-positioned to reach the final after beat Villarreal 3-1 in the first leg at the Camp Nou this week.

“We are in our best moment of the campaign,” Pique continued. “We did go through a bad patch, but as from now, every game is like it’s a final and we will reach the end of the season in good form.”

Programming note: Barcelona vs. Levante will be shown LIVE on Sunday starting at 10:55am EST on beIN SPORTS and DishWorld.

 

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