Chelsea midfielder, Cesc Fabregas has warned his Chelsea teammates that they can’t afford to underestimate Barcelona legend, Andres Iniesta in the Champions League Round of 16 knockout stage.
Cesc Fabregas has warned Chelsea to beware his old friend Andres Iniesta’s timeless “intelligence” ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona. The pair came through at the Barcelona academy, played for Barcelona from 2011 to 2014 and also played for the Spanish international team.
Premier League champions, Chelsea will be hoping to get a result that will keep the game alive in the return leg at The Camp Nou and Fabregas has lauded the ‘timeless intelligence’ of Iniesta ahead of the game at Stamford Bridge, though he has stated that the classy midfielder is not an idol to him, given that he is only 3 years older than him.
For Fabregas, the likes of Luis Figo and Pep Guardiola were the men he looked up to as a young player in the La Masia.
Despite his enduring friendship with Iniesta, Fabregas insisted he will harbour no split loyalties when facing his home town club at Stamford Bridge in the last-16 first leg encounter. Speaking about Iniesta, Fabregas said, “He’s still good; for this type of player age doesn’t really matter, ”Once you have a talent, once you have the class that he and so many other ‘big’ players have, they can play until their late 30s.
“Physically, it’s important, obviously because the game nowadays depends a lot on that. But when you have the quality, when you have the intelligence, it can sometimes compensate.” He added.
All eyes will be on Lionel Messi in the game in London, but Chelsea fans will not forget the sight of Iniesta scoring a last-minute goal that knocked Chelsea out of the tournament back in 2009. Chelsea have made a mess of their title defence, but a strong Champions League campaign can help negate all the feeling of underachieving this season. The game kicks off at 7:45pm GMT on Tuesday.