Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas has written a tribute to his former Barcelona teammate, Lionel Messi, in a piece for The Telegraph entitled “Lionel Messi and me - my 18-year friendship with the world’s greatest player.”
Fàbregas says Messi is the leader of his country, Argentina, and he is pulling for them to do well at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. “If my country Spain cannot win it,” the World Cup winner said, “then I would be delighted for Leo to get the only missing piece of his career.”
Cesc says that Messi will need support from his teammates if he hopes to lift the trophy:
I watched the game when he scored a hat-trick for Argentina against Ecuador to send them through to the World Cup. That is pressure and look how he responded - he sent the whole of Argentina to the World Cup when they were really struggling. He carries the whole country, but, nowadays, at the World Cup you cannot do it by yourself. Maybe in the past, but now the players and the coaches, tactically, are too good. You need your team-mates to perform 100 per cent next to you, so Leo needs help in Russia.
Still, Cesc maintained that he felt Messi “will always be the best player ever, with or without the World Cup.”
Of course, I know when we talk in 20 or 30 years, if you win the World Cup, the future generations who do not watch him now will be even more clear on the fact Leo was the best because they can say ‘he won a World Cup’. But people who have played with him or know about football will tell you he is the best and the most complete player ever.