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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Fábregas: Messi is 'more complete than ever' at 32

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The two have played together since they were children in La Masia and the Monaco midfielder knows the Argentine better than anyone.
Cesc Fabregas believes that Lionel Messi has adapted his game with age to be "more complete than ever" as the 32-year-old continues to dominate the headlines and break records.

Barcelona went on to another league title in the 2018-19 season, with Messi finishing the campaign with 51 goals and 22 assists to top the lists in both areas.

Fábregas is now in Monaco but played with the Argentine since he was 12 years old before joining Arsenal at age 16.

He would continue to return to Barcelona and line up with his old friend again in 2011 for three seasons, and the couple will stay close to this day.

Messi has adapted his game as his career has progressed and Fabregas has presented himself to Goal, so he still deserves the same level of applause, if not more, despite a reduced ability to face the players.

"That's what happens with Leo, reinventing season after season," said Cesc about the star born in Rosario. "Maybe he is not the player who dribbles beyond the three, four or five players and scores an outstanding goal.

"Instead, now, he prefers to pass 50 yards, leaving Jordi Alba one on one with the goalkeeper."

"He sees a couple of two in the box, he could make a chip and assistance ... I think he's now more complete than ever."

At the end of the season prizes, Messi claimed the Pichichi award for the sixth time.

His legendary status in football has been confirmed for a long time, but he may have difficulty winning the Golden Ball for his season after a disappointing exit from the Champions League at the hands of eventual Liverpool winners.

The Reds achieved an incredible 4-0 victory at Anfield, after a 3-0 defeat in the first league at Camp Nou. What followed was a final defeat of the Copa del Rey by 2-1 against Valencia, but Fábregas believes that Messi still deserves to be crowned as the best player in the world.

"It's very difficult, it could depend on who won the Champions League," said Fabregas about the possibility of Messi winning the Golden Ball.

"Normally, these trophies are assigned to people who earn great things. I think Messi won it in 2010 when they only won the league, so it's definitely feasible.

"I think if it's about who is the best, then Messi is the best." No doubt about that.

"I think Liverpool have had a fantastic season, however, potentially one of their players could be on the podium, for sure."

Messi has one more blow in the glory of this period as Argentina competes in the Copa América, starting with a clash against Colombia on Saturday.

However, despite a large amount of attacking talent, the Albiceleste has rarely managed to meet expectations in the main tournaments in recent years.

In case Messi, the captain of the nation, leads the country to glory in the umpteenth time that he asks, then it is possible that Fabregas has the desire to see an old friend raise a sixth Golden Ball record.

Cesc Fábregas spoke on behalf of Amstel, official partners of the UEFA Europa League.