Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has posted a goodbye message to his friend Lionel Messi after a deal to keep him at the Nou Camp collapsed on Thursday.
Despite being a free agent since his contract expired in July, Messi was expected to stay at Barcelona with his new contract expected to be announced on Thursday after final confirmation.
However, the deal and the registration of the player were both blocked by the league due to Barcelona's current financial irregularities.
As a result, Messi has left the club after a total of 21 years with Barcelona having originally joined the Spanish giants as a 13-year-old in 2000.
In a post on Instagram, Pique wrote "Nothing will ever be the same again. Not the Camp Nou, not the city of Barcelona, not ourselves.
"After more than 20 years in the club, you'll stop wearing the Barca shirt. Reality, sometimes, is very hard. We met in 2000, we had 13 years and a career ahead. What a race!"
Pique and Messi both played together in Barcelona's La Masia academy before the former joined Manchester United in 2004 as a 17-year-old.
"If we had designed it back then, it was impossible to make it better. Such a f*** madness!" he continued.
"In my first season, after returning to FC Barcelona, we won the triplet and you became the best player of all time. From Rosario to touch the sky of Rome. That's where the legend began."
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal in Rome with a towering header as they beat Manchester United 2-0 in the Champions League final in 2009, Pique had returned to the club the previous summer.
"What came next is history, And what a great time we had! You're leaving now, but I know one day you'll be back. There are still things to do.
"Have fun, enjoy wherever you go and keep winning as only you know how to do. We're going to miss you here. I love you Leo." finished Pique in an emotional post.
Messi looks set to join French side Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer having reportedly agreed a two-year deal with Mauricio Pochettino's side.
In total, Pique and Messi played together for Barcelona on 506 occasions and won a total of 30 trophies together, including three Champions Leagues, eight league titles and seven Copa del Reys.
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