“Messi was not a player who was leading by what he was saying” - Fabregas expresses his opinion on Lionel Messi’s leadership qualities

Cesc Fabregas talks about Lionel Messi
Cesc Fabregas talks about Lionel Messi's leadership skills (Image via Getty)

Former Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas shared his take on Lionel Messi's leadership qualities in a recent Q&A with BBC Sport on YouTube. He explained how Messi is a unique leader, as he didn't inspire by virtue of his words but by his actions instaed. He said that the Argentine leads his teammates by setting an example on the pitch.

“I always think that the most vocal guy doesn’t necessarily have to be the biggest leader in the team. In a group, there’s many ways [to lead]. For example, Messi was not a player who was leading by what he was saying. [He led the team] with what he was doing on the pitch every single time," Fabregas explained.
"For me, he was [still] a leader. Sometimes we confuse what a leader is. For me, the most important [thing] is to focus and lead by example," he added.

Messi has served as the leader of both his club and country over the years. He became the captain of Barcelona in 2018 after Andres Iniesta left the club and continued his captaincy until his departure in 2021.

He has also been the captain of the Argentina national team since 2011. He led his country to victory in the 2021 Copa America, the 2022 La Finalissima, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He currently also serves as the captain of Inter Miami.

Fabregas shared the pitch with Lionel Messi 123 times between 2011 and 2014 at Barcelona and they also played together in La Masia. They have 26 joint-goal participations. The duo won one La Liga title and one Club World Cup together for the Blaugrana, among other titles. The Spaniard has always spoken fondly of his former Barca teammate.

When Cesc Fabregas described Lionel Messi as the most 'complete player' ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

FC Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
FC Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas made his choice clear in the GOAT debate much before Lionel Messi won the World Cup. For several years, the Argentine didn't see the face of international glory, but Fabregas claimed back in 2018 that it did not matter.

In a column for the Daily Telegraph, the Spaniard described Messi as the most "complete player". He claimed that anyone who'd have played with him would say the same.

"People who have played with him or know about football will tell you he is the best and the most complete player ever," the midfielder said.

He then mentioned Messi's longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo in his column, comparing the two players but still preferring Messi in all departments.

"Cristiano is fantastic and everyone admires him for what he does, the guy is a competitor. But talent-wise and when we talk about the complete player, Leo became the best goalscorer ever, became the best passer ever, he can score with both feet, his head, he can dribble around four players. He has vision to make assists, he is the most complete ever, no doubt," he wrote.

Fabregas also recalled the time when he first saw Lionel Messi play in Barcelona's youth academy, La Masia. The Spaniard revealed he was only 13 then and his coach instructed him to kick Leo.

The midfielder remembered fondly how he was certain that a young Lionel Messi wouldn't be able to go past him but he managed to do so in his first try. The Argentine's one-on-one skills were top-notch since childhood, Fabregas recalled.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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