Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabreas has been close friends with Argentina superstar Lionel Messi ever since they played together as 13-year-olds at Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth Academy.
The pair then played senior football together at the Nou Camp for three seasons from 2011-2014, when The Blues midfielder moved back to his hometown club from Arsenal.
Fabregas has enjoyed a glittering international career for Spain making 110 appearances, and winning the European Championships in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 World Cup.
However, the Chelsea midfielder has revealed that La Roja would have won even more trophies had his former team-mate decided to play for Spain instead of the country of his birth Argentina.
Fabregas also admitted he finds it very strange that Messi is not always held in the same high esteem in his homeland as he is in Europe.
“It would have been phenomenal if Leo had played for Spain, we would have won more titles, but he always felt very Argentina and I think it was the perfect decision to play for his country,”
“When everyone lauds him for what he does, it doesn’t seem normal to me that in [Argentina] they criticise him so much.
“I can’t understand it because it’s where he should be valued the most.” Fabregas told TyC Sports.
Despite winning every individual and club award imaginable during his career, Messi has never managed to win a international tournament with Argentina, and due to the fact he spent much of his youth in Spain he is not accepted by Argentina fans in the same way that players who grew up in the South American country are.
Barcelona’s mercurial attacker will be however going all out to put his international trophy drought to an end this summer in Russia, and it would take a brave man to bet against him finally silencing his critics and guiding his country to World Cup glory in June.
TO CHECK OUT 10 OF THE BEST QUOTES ABOUT MESSI CLICK HERE !