Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Lionel Messi has enjoyed a long and successful career since making his professional bow as a teenager.
He has played alongside many of the world's greatest players throughout his career. The Argentine started his career at FC Barcelona before moving to France in 2021 after 17 years in Spain. He has also featured regularly for his country since his teenage days.
Messi is arguably the greatest footballer of all time, having completed football in Qatar in 2022, as he won all the trophies available to him.
While the diminutive forward wrote the final chapter of his legend, some of his former teammates retired last year. This article will look at some former teammates of the Argentine ace who called time on their professional careers in 2022.
Without further ado, let's take a look at them:
#5 Fabricio Coloccini
Former Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini called time on his 23-year career in 2022 after a period out of the game. The former Newcastle United man was a tough defender who turned out for several top sides in Europe.
Coloccini played alongside Messi on the international scene, having made his debut for his country in 2003. He was in the national team setup when the legendary forward made his international debut and first played with him in September 2005 against Paraguay.
Coloccini played alongside him until his international retirement in 2013. The centre-back played 38 times for his country and appeared in one major tournament for La Albiceleste, the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Coloccini played for AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna, Alaves, and Newcastle United in Europe. The defender last featured for Aldosivi in 2021 before officially retiring on January 1, 2022.
#4 Maxi Rodriguez
Argentine winger Maxi Rodriguez is one whose international career greatly overlaps Messi's. The diminutive winger hung up his boots in 2022 after an impressive career for club and country.
Rodriguez played alongside the forward mostly for the national team, although their paths may have crossed while at Newell's Old Boys. Rodriguez was in the squad and scored on the PSG man's brief international debut against Hungary in 2005. Rodriguez also scored when the former Barcelona man scored his first World Cup goal in 2006 against Serbia and Montenegro.
Rodriguez featured 56 times for La Albiceleste and played in three FIFA World Cup editions. He represented Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, and Espanyol in Europe. He also played for Newell's Old Boys and Penarol before hanging up his boots in 2022.
#3 Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain has played alongside the Argentina captain for most of his international career. The striker announced his retirement from professional football in 2022 after an illustrious career.
Higuain only ever played alongside the forward on the international stage. The former striker made his international debut in 2009 and played alongside Messi at six major tournaments.
He retired from international football in 2019 after scoring 31 goals in 75 appearances for La Albiceleste. He was one of Argentina's biggest stars of the 2010s alongside his captain.
The duo were rivals at the club level though, when the striker featured for Real Madrid. He also played for Napoli, Juventus, Chelsea, and AC Milan. He retired in 2022 after a spell with Inter Miami in the MLS.
#2 Carlos Tevez
Carlos Tevez is another player who witnessed the rise of Messi from close quarters. The striker played alongside the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner for many years in the national team. He retired from professional football in 2022 after a spell with Boca Juniors.
Tevez did not play with Messi at the club level, only playing with the forward for Argentina. He made his international debut in 2004, a year before Messi made his.
He featured alongside the former Barcelona man in five major tournaments for La Albiceleste. Tevez made 76 international appearances for his country and scored 13 goals.
Tevez faced his compatriot on a number of occasions at club level in the UEFA Champions League. He played for Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus, among others. He retired in June 2022 and is now the manager of Rosario Central.
#1 Gérard Pique
Gérard Pique is one of those who saw Messi develop from a shy teenager to arguably the best footballer on the planet. The Spanish defender played alongside the Argentine in Barcelona's famed La Masia academy as well as the club's first team.
Pique moved to Manchester United when Messi broke through and became a key player for Barcelona. The defender returned to the Nou Camp in 2008 and played alongside the forward until he left the club in 2021. Of all his teammates, only Sergio Busquets has shared the pitch with Messi more times than Pique, who has played 506 matches with him.
Pique retired from professional football in 2022 after an illustrious career in which he won virtually everything. The defender last featured for FC Barcelona, having remained at the club since 2008.