Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique reportedly suffer "complete breakdown in relationship"
Barca are not in their best run of form.
After a poor run of matches, Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique have reportedly suffered a 'complete breakdown' in their relationship.
The pair have enjoyed a happy friendship for a long time, having both started their careers at Barcelona, but recent results have sparked a fallout. Pique reportedly believes Messi has not fulfilled his role as captain adequately in times of need.
Barca suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat to bottom of the league Leganes last week, and could only muster a draw against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend. Pique is said to have taken exception to Messi's silence in light of the Leganes result, demanding more from the club captain.
Messi has never been the most vocal player but assumed the responsibility of wearing the armband after Andres Iniesta left the club in the summer.
Reports from El Chiringuito de Jugones claim Pique hit out at Messi for not facing the press when the going gets tough, claiming Messi only faces the media when back home in Argentina.
It has been claimed that Messi's response was to criticise the defence for conceding sloppy goals - Pique was partly at fault for Leganes' winner last week.
Messi notably faced the press after the draw against Athletic. When asked if the squad is too dependent on him, he said:
"We have the squad and the players to be a great team, to be a strong team and not depend on anyone. This is Barca. We have enough players, we don't need to depend on one."
Barca remain top of La Liga, but Ernesto Valverde's team have come under a lot of scrutiny for their results so far this season. Pique, in particular, has been heavily criticised, as no team in the top seven have conceded more goals than the eight that Barcelona have let in.
Messi, meanwhile, has been his usual brilliant self, scoring eight goals and providing five assists in nine matches across all competitions.
Barça will look to get back to winning ways on Wednesday night when they take on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in their second Champions League group game of the season.
Spurs will be without several key players including Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.