Gerard Pique of Barcelona has expressed the belief that the club will have fun this year without its former captain, Lionel Messi.

Messi departed for Paris St Germain last week after he and Barcelona were prevented from entering a new contract due to La Liga regulations, the club claimed.

Despite Messi’s absence, Barcelona were able to record a win in their opening game in the La Liga and Real Sociedad.

Pique opened the scoring and Martin Braithwaite grabbed a brace, while substitute Sergi Roberto scored late on after Julen Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal had put La Real back in the game.

“I don’t have to explain what Leo represents, we all know it. He’s the most important player in the history of this club.

“It’s true that Leo not being here means we perhaps won’t have the talent we had before. But the team has shown that we’re all united. Upfront we have goals, and I think at the back, despite the mistake and the free kick [that Real Sociedad scored] we were good.

“La Real played well but didn’t create a lot of chances. I think we’ll have fun this year,” Pique told Movistar.