Lionel Messi: Cesc Fabregas pays tribute to Barcelona legend after he leaves club

  • Tom Ward
Cesc Fabregas tells funny story on Twitter about being 'left on the floor' by Lionel Messi at Barcelona initiation.

Monaco star Cesc Fabregas has paid an emotional tribute to former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, calling the Argentina superstar ‘the best player of all time’.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder, who played alongside Messi for three years at Camp Nou, said it was a ‘dream’ to share the pitch with him and Gerard Pique

Messi confirmed on Sunday he will end his 20-year association with Barca after it was reported he could be in for a reunion with close pal Neymar Jr at Paris Saint-Germain this summer. 

Reacting to Messi’s departure, 34-year-old Fabregas tweeted: “I will always remember the day you came into the dressing room when I was 13 years old and they told us that a boy from Argentina was coming to try out.

“You sat down and did not speak the whole time. The coach told me in the 1v1 exercise to be strong against you, I saw you so small, that I thought in a second that I would take the ball away from you.

“How silly of me, you left me on the floor and from then on I saw that you were something different.

Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi lifted five trophies together at Barcelona

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Fabregas added: “My dream was always to play for the Barça first team, but doing it with you and Geri always made that dream much more special.

“In the end, it became a reality and just for the mere fact of feeling football as I felt it playing in the false nine position with you and seeing the connection that was there, it was all worth it.

“You go as the best player of all time.

“It will never be the same to see Barça without you.”

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta, meanwhile, said he was ‘sad’ to see Messi leave but explained the reasoning behind the decision.  

“Leo Messi wanted to stay at Barcelona, he had an agreement to stay at Barca and we wanted Leo to stay,” he said.

“I want to thank Leo’s camp and all people involved in the negotiations. Unfortunately, because of La Liga rules we can’t proceed.

“I’m sad but we did everything to keep Leo and he was prepared to stay at Barcelona, it was agreed. A new era starts now without Lionel Messi, we’ll be thankful to Leo.”

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