When we refer to an event that happened and was completed some time in the past, before another event in the past, we typically use the past perfect. To form the past perfect, we use the personal pronoun + had + past participle.
I had played with him before the last tournament. (The tournament is in the past. I had played with him even further in the past.)
We had called to make a reservation before we got to the restaurant. (We got to the restaurant in the past. We called even further in the past.)
They had eaten dinner before when we arrived at their house. (We arrived at their house in the past. They ate even further in the past.)