- Cesc Fabregas has revealed that it was not smooth sailing for Lionel Messi at Barcelona academy
- The Spaniard stated that Messi did not like to pass the ball most times and was bullied off the ball
- Fabregas spent most of his career in the Premier League while Messi remains a one-club man
Cesc Fabregas stated that things were initially not easy for Lionel Messi when he was at Barcelona's youth academy, La Masia, 90 Minutes.
The former Chelsea star and Messi were colleagues at the popular La Masia football educational system before the Argentine became the club's greatest player.
Fabregas moved to England at an early age as he established himself under legendary Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before returning to the Camp Nou for a brief spell in 2011.
The Monaco midfielder opened up on the difficulties faced by Messi at the start of his footballing education.
"Leo had an amazing, amazing talent but he didn’t really shine, especially at one thing because he was so small, so skinny. He was dribbling all the time, he didn’t like to pass the ball much to be honest, and he as always on the floor - a lot. The first two years always on the floor, always the other players they were putting him very easily on the free-kicks and making fouls on him,"
"After that he started growing a little bit. He was a little bit more powerful. They put him through the middle a little bit more so he was not so much on the wing, and after that he started to make the difference.
"He was physically not strong yet but he was very, very intelligent and he was playing between the lines like an expert. You could find him, he would know when to turn, he would know when to pass you back, he would know how to use the profile of his body - open up, shaping up and things like this.
"He was sensational and I think it helped him a lot to become more central."
Fabregas and Messi have maintained their friendship on and off the pitch and even spend the holiday together with families during the summer.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Ronald Koeman has condemned comments made by Paris Saint-Germain star Angel di Maria claiming Lionel Messi could join him at Parc des Princes next season, Goal.
Messi is in the final year of his contract at the Camp Nou and the Ligue 1 champions are among the clubs lobbying for the Argentine's signature.
PSG's Sporting Director Leonardo said in January that the door is opened to the 33-year-old