Cesc Fabregas has played with some of the best players of the current era during his career.
Lionel Messi is, of course, at the top of the pile. Speaking during his guest appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Fabregas described his close friend as the ‘best player in the history of football’.
But who does Cesc rate as the second-best player he’s ever played with? You could be forgiven for suspecting it would be Xavi or Andres Iniesta - but you’d also be wrong.
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“That’s difficult,” Fabregas said when asked to name the best player (other than Messi) he has ever played with. “ I’ve been so lucky to play with the very, very best.
“Thierry Henry, [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi, [Fernando] Torres, [David] Villa, it’s so difficult to say one.
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“I’ll go for Thierry Henry, when I was there at Arsenal he was there at his very, very best. He was a beast. He was fantastic, I learned so much from him.”
Henry was extraordinary at Arsenal
Cesc played alongside Henry from 2003-2007, when the latter left the Emirates Stadium for Barcelona.
Henry was extraordinary during his spell with the Gunners and is regarded by many as the best player of the Premier League era, so it won’t come as a huge surprise that Fabregas named the retired France international as the best behind Messi.
Fabregas also admitted that he felt like a spare part towards the end of his own spell with Barcelona, hence why he made the difficult and controversial decision to join Chelsea in the summer of 2014.
Fabregas feels bad for Jose Mourinho
It was Jose Mourinho who brought the Spaniard to west London, and Fabregas insists the only reason the Portuguese coach lost his job at Stamford Bridge was because he showed “too much trust” in his squad after they won the title at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
"I have huge respect for him," the Spain international told Sky Sports, per BBC Sport.
"The biggest problem was he trusted us too much, gave us more holiday because we were champions and we let him down. That was the main reason he had to go - and for that, myself and the team feel bad."
Fabregas looking forward to working with Conte
From this summer onwards, Chelsea’s players will be managed by Antonio Conte - and Fabregas is looking forward to beginning work under the former Juventus boss.
"From what I've heard, and it's probably proved by so many professionals talking about him, he's disciplined, he's a winner and he's a competitor,” Fabregas added.
"That's what we need. Someone that will always be on our back to push us and make us work hard, teaching us new things; the things he wants to do and achieve.
"All I know is that he wants to win straight away. No more transition, no more excuses. He wants to win and for that we'll have to be prepared from day one."
Will Chelsea win the title under Antonio Conte next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.