“Very, very small”, Lionel Messi suddenly became the phenomenon of FC Barcelona’s Masia during a Catalan Cup final.
AS Monaco player since January 2019, Cesc Fabregas, 33 years old, offers a fascinating interview in the columns of L’Equipe. The excellent midfielder talks about his style of play as well as the evolution of modern football, he who discovered the high level in the Premier League with Arsenal, before winning many titles with the FC Barcelona by Pep Guardiola but also with a Chelsea directed by José Mourinho or Antonio Conte.
The 2010 world champion with Spain also remembers his debut at La Masia, the training center of the Blaugranas, alongside Gerard Pique and Lionel messi. “He was mostly very, very small. He received a lot of blows because he did not yet have the physical strength to resist mistakes. We could see that he had an easy time in one-on-one, but from there to imagine what he was going to become… ”, thus tells Fabregas about his childhood friend who became sixfold Ballon d’Or.
A “phenomenon” is born!
A performance by Messi in Cadete B (U15) particularly marked Fabregas: “He was playing on the left, not attacking. The change came in a Catalan Cup final against Espanyol. Our trainer was Tito Vilanova. The day before the game, he comes to see Leo and me and tells us that he will line up him center-forward and me number 10, higher than usual. It was the first time for both of us. During the final, Messi was able to come out after 20 minutes: we were already leading 3-0, he had scored a hat-trick… It was the first time that we said to ourselves that we had a phenomenon ” .
For the anecdote, Messi had broken his cheekbone a few days before this Catalan Cup final and had recovered the mask used by Carles Puyol in the first team, “because we only had one mask for the whole club ! », As Fabregas says.
Barça targets two profiles
Dembélé, Barça fears the worst