Coronavirus: Pique hasn't seen Messi train, wants to avoid 'ugly' La Liga finish

Messi and Barca returned to training on Friday, with the squad divided over three pitches to ensure social-distancing requirements are upheld.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique (R) looks at team-mate Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Gerard Pique said he has not seen superstar teammate Lionel Messi train as Barcelona steps up its La Liga preparations with individual sessions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi and Barca returned to training on Friday, albeit via individual sessions due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the squad divided over three pitches to ensure social-distancing requirements are upheld.

Barca followed a similar routine on Saturday as La Liga hopes to resume in mid-June, having suspended the 2019-20 campaign in March.

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"I didn't have any contact with Messi on the pitch, I only spoke to him on my mobile phone," Barca defender Pique told Movistar's El Partidazo.

"I didn't see him train either, I just crossed him in the parking lot. All the footballers we train in different fields. I am with Sergi Roberto and [Sergio] Busquets in a field, but we are separated."

Defending champions Barca were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid through 27 matches when the season was postponed.

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Barca head coach Quique Setien has previously said it would be logical for the Spanish giant to receive the title if the season was incomplete – a view strongly opposed by Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Pique, though, would prefer to finish the campaign, adding: "I understand La Liga's interest in finishing the season because there's a lot at stake.

"Despite being leaders, it would be quite ugly to win that way.

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"We've spent a lot of time out of action and we have to keep in mind we need to be well prepared to avoid the risk of injuries, a few days of training more wouldn't be bad."

"They've kept us very well informed; [La Liga president] Javier Tebas has dedicated many hours to it," Pique continued.

"There are people who are scared and it's important that everyone follows the protocol to the finest detail. It's better training as a group but we have to adapt."

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