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Cesc Fabregas believes Lionel Messi would be the best player in the Premier League

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has said that Lionel Messi would be considered the best player in the Premier League, if he ever considers a move to the English top-flight. The Spain international is close friends with the Barcelona superstar since their time together in the La Masia academy, and he is relishing the challenge on store in midweek.

In an exclusive with, Fabregas said: "Without a doubt, he would still be the best [player in England]. We all want to live it from inside. These games require less talking and to focus on playing and giving all we have. Of course [it means a lot to play Barcelona]. To me, and to all players in the world, including the ones who were born there."

Fabregas is likely to have plenty of emotions going through when he tackles his former club in the Champions League round of 16 tie on Tuesday night, but the Spaniard is confident that he can put in a strong performance just as he did on a couple of occasions whilst playing for Arsenal.

Messi, on the other hand, would surely have revenge on his mind after Barcelona were ousted by the Blues during the previous meeting in 2012. The Argentine has surprisingly failed to score in eight successive games versus the Blues, and he will be desperate to end his goalscoring duck in order to help his side progress further in the competition.
There was plenty of talk of Messi making a shock move to Manchester City at the end of the campaign, but the attacker ended any doubts over his commitment towards the Blaugrana by penning a new bumper contract until the summer of 2021.

Barcelona are already in pole position to secure the La Liga title with a seven-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, and they have a distinct chance of claiming a double this term after having also made progress to the final of the King's Cup where they face Celta Vigo.