Cesc Fabregas snubs Xavi and Iniesta while revealing the best midfielder he's played with
- The Chelsea midfielder also snubbed former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola while naming the best manager he's worked with
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has revealed that former Arsenal teammate Mathieu Flamini is the best midfielder he has ever played with. Fabregas’s choice is particularly surprising given that he spent 3 seasons alongside Xavi and Iniesta at Barcelona, while also ignoring Pep Guardiola and opting for Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger while naming his best managers.
Fabregas was speaking with Football Daily, in a promotional video for German sportswear brand PUMA. When asked about the best midfielder he has played with, Fabregas’ answer was rather surprising, with the Spaniard saying “I had two years playing next to Flamini and he covered me, when I wasn’t physically great. He covers so much ground.”
“If I say Iniesta or Xavi – yeah it’s fantastic for the eyes but in real football it’s not real for me. But if I had to choose one it would have to be between Gilberto Silva and Flamini.”
Fabregas’ snub of his former Barcelona teammates is particularly galling, given that he spent a trophy laden spell at Barcelona. However, his introduction to a settled lineup was often viewed as a disruption by Barcelona fans, and the Catalan born midfielder ended an unhappy spell by transferring to Chelsea in 2014/15 season.
However, there is some merit to Fabregas picking Flamini, as the duo formed a formidable midfield pairing alongside Tomas Rosicky and Alexander Hleb while almost propelling Arsenal to a Premier League tile in 2007/08.
Mourinho and Wenger, not Guardiola are the best managers for Fabregas
Fabregas’ snub of all things Barcelona continued when he was asked who was the best manager he worked with. The Chelsea midfielder ingnored Guardiola, but diplomatically rated Arsene Wenger and Mourinho the same, saying “Mourinho and Wenger. Wenger was the most important, because he gave me a chance to show what I could do when I was only 16.”
“Mourinho took me after a difficult moment and he made me believe in myself again. He gave me a real chance and made me win the Premier League – which was a thing that I really wanted to do. For me, they are the two best coaches I've had.”
Guardiola left Barcelona after Fabregas’ first two seasons, but the pair did not have the best of relations, with Pep struggling to shoehorn the former Arsenal midfielder into a settled midfield containg Xavi and Iniesta at the peak of their powers.
Fabregas will have a chance to face Guardiola again, when the Catalan takes over Manchester City nest season.
Here is the video of Fabregas’ interaction with Football Daily:
Published 02 May 2016, 21:35 IST