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Fabregas backs Mbappe to succeed Messi as the world’s best

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Cesc Fabregas believes “phenomenon” Kylian Mbappe will succeed his former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as the world’s best player.

Fabregas, who joined Mbappe in Ligue 1 last season with AS Monaco, has got a first-hand account of the youngster’s skills, and has evidently been left impressed by all that he’s seen in France.

The 20-year-old’s incredible rate of development over the last few years, of course, has won him plenty of plaudits.

After helping France win the 2018 World Cup, Mbappe then scored a career-best of 33 goals in just 29 Ligue 1 games last season. It played a big part in winning his third league title, and second in succession with Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite these impressive stats. however, Mbappe still lost out to Messi in last season’s Golden Shoe award. The Barcelona captain ended scoring 36 La Liga goals to beat his young rival to the accolade

While conceding that Messi is simply out of this world, though, Fabregas tipped Mbappe to succeed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner someday.

“He’s a phenomenon,” the former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder told AS.

“He’s clearly going to be the best player in the world in the future.

“I always think like a midfielder and if I had him in front of me I’d be giving him assists all the time because he’s so fast, explosive, but he’s also very clever in slipping his markers.

“He has his timing down perfectly. [Thierry] Henry and Diego Costa were also brilliant at that. The thing that stands out about Mbappe is that he’s so hungry, he knows how to exploit his ability.”

Mbappe did, in fact, finish one spot above Messi in the 2018 Ballon d’Or poll in fourth-place. He also outshined the Blaugrana superstar to help France beat Argentina in the World Cup last-16 stage.

Although it appears the PSG striker is out of luck if he wants to become just like Messi.

When asked if there will be another like the Camp Nou icon, Fabregas replied: “I think that’s probably impossible.

“We’ve seen the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, amazing players, but Messi has been the best for 15 years. He’s in his 17th season and he’s been the best since he was 18 years old.

“I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. Every three days he scores goals, he heads off to play for Argentina, he comes back jet-lagged and scores a hat-trick… that’s not normal, believe me.”

Fabregas also spoke on the “many attempts” Real Madrid made to sign him while he was with Arsenal.

ALMERIA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 28: Lionel Messi (L) of FC Barcelona celebrates with team-mate Cesc Fabregas after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between UD Almeria and FC Barcelona on September 28, 2013 in Almeria, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)