"One of the biggest trolls I know" – Gerard Pique explains what Lionel Messi is REALLY like
Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, but little is known of him away from the pitch.
The public perception of the Argentine is of a shy and retiring character, but Pique insists he is actually very different.
"Messi has very ironic humour, he's one of the biggest trolls [I know]," Pique told Movistar.
Born in the same year, Pique and Messi played together for various La Masia youth teams but the defender joined Manchester United before making his senior debut for Barcelona.
Pique returned to his boyhood club in 2008 and has since won 16 major trophies with the Catalans, which is three fewer than Messi.
Both men also shared a dressing room with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who made 45 appearances for Barcelona in 2009/10.
And Pique says the outspoken Swede, who now plies his trade with LA Galaxy, was always keen to strengthen his financial position.
"He is the guy who loves money more than anyone else on earth," the former Spain international said.
"He told us one day, 'Money is not the most important thing'. We didn't say anything, and then he finished: 'Having a lot of money is the most important thing.'"
Barcelona face Espanyol when La Liga resumes after the international break this weekend.