Pique reveals the reason behind Barcelona’s slow start to the season


Gerard Pique says that players should train in groups with health protocols. He further added that he didn't have contact with Messi on the pitch.
Gerard Pique says that players should train in groups with health protocols. He further added that he didn't have contact with Messi on the pitch.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has pointed his finger at the club’s pre-season routine to explain the team’s slow start to the season. 

The reigning La Liga champions returned to winning ways on Tuesday as goals from new signing Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Arthur helped the Catalans seal a 2-1 victory over Villarreal.

Despite coming out of the fixture with all three points, it wasn’t a night to remember for the Blaugrana as a first-half injury forced Lionel Messi out of the game.

While the extent of his injury remains unknown, various sources have claimed that it would be enough to force Messi to miss this weekend’s trip to Getafe.

Victory on Tuesday allowed Barcelona to put last weekend’s shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Granada behind them, one in which the club failed to muster only two shots on goal.

Pique blames pre-season for Barca's poor start

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 24: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona looks on during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Barcelona and FC Internazionale at Camp Nou on October 24, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 24: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona looks on during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Barcelona and FC Internazionale at Camp Nou on October 24, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Speaking after his team’s victory last night, Pique admitted that they still  huge room for improvement, while also blaming the club’s pre-season routine for Barca’s poor start to the season.

The pre-season did not help at all to start well in the competition, a lot of travel and little training. Many of us notice it and we don’t have the tone yet, not only Messi, but we must continue because we are forced to win, it is a setback.” said Pique.

“Look now what has happened to Messi, but there are no excuses, in the team, there are qualified people to replace him and move on, although we hope he will be out as short as possible.”

At one time during the fixture, it seemed that Barcelona would run away with their early 2 goal lead before a Santi Cazorla strike pulled the Yellow Submarine back into the game just before half time, though Barca managed to see of the 2nd half without shipping any more goals.

With their victory on Tuesday, Ernesto Valverde’s men now sit at sixth place in the table, one point behind league leaders Granada who have a game in hand.

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Barcelona Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona

Messi's injury a concern for Barcelona

Messi Barcelona
SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 23: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 23, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

On a night in which almost everything else went in the way of the home side,  Lionel Messi’s injury in the first half dampened the mood of the Barcelona faithful.

It was the 32-year-old’s first start of the season after suffering a calf injury in pre-season, though he lasted only 45 minutes before a hip injury forced Valverde to replace Messi with Ousmanne Dembele at the start of the 2nd half.

The Argentine came off the bench to feature in Barcelona’s Champions League trip to Borussia Dortmund last midweek but wasn’t able to do much as the Catalans settled for a 0-0 draw.

ESPN FC are reporting that Messi will not travel with the Barcelona squad to face Getafe on Saturday, but he will undergo further tests today (Wednesday) to determine the full extent of his injury.

“Of course when Messi gets injured, everyone takes notice,” Valverde told the press after the match. “However, it does not look like a serious injury.”

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