Gerard Pique has opened up on the void in the Barcelona dressing room following the shock departure last summer of Nou Camp talisman Lionel Messi.
The Argentina icon departed Barca in an emotional goodbye in the summer with the cash-strapped Spaniards unable to afford to extend his contract.
He joined French giants Paris Saint-Germain, where he has reunited with Neymar and formed a strike partnership alongside Kylian Mbappe.
But for Pique, who came through the club's La Masia academy to become a Barca hero via a four-year spell at Manchester United, admits that Messi's presence is hugely missed all around the club.
Speaking to Spanish television show El Homiguero, Pique said: 'I have shared a dressing room since I was 13 years old, he is almost like a brother, and it was very hard on a sporting and personal level.
'This year things have not started well in part because the best in history has left us.'
Back at Barcelona, the glory days enjoyed in Messi's pomp are a distant memory.
Manager Ronald Koeman was sacked in late October and club legend Xavi has replaced him at the helm.
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