'Nothing will be the same' - Pique's touching farewell to Barcelona team-mate Messi

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Gerard Pique says "nothing will be the same" without Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

The Argentina star will not return to the Camp Nou outfit because, the club said, "financial and structural obstacles" set by La Liga are preventing them from tying him down to a new deal.

After 21 years with the Spanish giants, Messi will look for another club to continue his career and Blaugrana team-mate Pique is sad to see him go.

What has been said?

"Nothing will be the same again. Neither the Camp Nou, nor the city of Barcelona, nor ourselves," he wrote in an Instagram post.

"After more than 20 years at the club, you will stop wearing the Barça t-shirt. Reality, sometimes, is very hard.

"We met in 2000, we were 13 years old and a career ahead. What career! The mother who gave birth to us! If we had designed it at that time, it was impossible to do it better. A f*cking madness!

"In my first season, after returning to FC Barcelona, we won the treble and you became the best player of all time. From Rosario to touch the sky in Rome. There began the legend. What came after is history. And what good is it happened!

"Now you leave, but I know that one day you will come back. There are things to do pending. Pass it well, enjoy wherever you go and keep winning like only you know how to do. Here we are going to miss you. I love you Leo."

Why has Messi left?

Messi had initially agreed to sign a five-year contract with the Catalan club, but they cannot afford to register him for the new season.

"I don't want to generate false hope," president Joan Laporta said on Friday. 

"During the course of negotiations we know that the player has had other offers. There was a time limit. 

"If fair play continues to be rigid, the player needs some time to see what he is going to do and look at other options."

He added: "Leo wanted to stay, so he is not happy. For him right now, it is a situation where he has to confront reality that can't be changed. He knows that I wish him the best wherever he goes. Barca is his home.

Where could he go next?

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been highlighted as the top two candidates to land the 34-year-old.

But City boss Pep Guardiola would not touch on the likelihood of the Premier League champions signing him when quizzed about it on Friday.

Meanwhile, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino gave an indication that his side could snap him up, saying that they would not need to sell star man Kylian Mbappe to get Messi. 

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