Gerard Pique insists there are no crossed wires between himself and Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, while the World Cup winner has also admitted his “fear” regarding the transfer talk which raged around Neymar over the summer.
One prominent figure at Camp Nou has taken it upon himself to speak on behalf of the collective in Catalunya of late.
After a recent La Liga outing against Getafe, Pique said that the players were keen to avoid become scapegoats for a slow start to the season.
He also claimed that nobody in the camp was going to get upset about any critical articles and comments about the team, in what was considered to be a message to the club’s board amid accusations of player power taking control.
Club captain Messi then addressed Pique’s words with RAC1, saying: “Geri doesn’t tell anyone ever (what he’s going to say), especially not me. So yes, it surprised me what he said.
“Pique’s been at the club for years and he knows how things go here, he knows that we all learn of everything.
“I honestly wouldn’t have said it like that because it makes it a bigger issue than it is, but it’s a lie that we have power in the dressing room.”
Pique says those looking for signs of a rift in those comments are reading too far between the lines, with there no issues when it comes to the relationship of two long-serving stars.
He said when collecting an award from Esquire: “Messi is our captain and he has his say.
“But I think his words are in line with those of the dressing room.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with coordination or anything.”
Friction between players and board members is said to have lingered at Camp Nou since the summer.
A number of senior stars made it clear that they would like to have seen Neymar returned to Catalunya from Paris Saint-Germain.
No deal was done and the Brazil international forward remains in France for now.
That is a relief to Pique in some ways, with the 32-year-old conceding that he feared seeing a South American star head to Clasico rivals Real Madrid as Barca struggled to make a breakthrough in talks.
Pique added: “More than fear, it was a possibility.
“It’s true that we discussed it in the dressing room but in the end it was Neymar’s decision.
“In the end he stayed and I hope he does his best. My relationship with Neymar is fantastic.”