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Fabregas warns that Lionel Messi is ‘more complete than ever’

Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Argentina
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Lionel Messi is now even “more complete than ever” after successfully readapting his game, says his old Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

Messi, who will turn 32 years old later this month, continues to perform at abnormally high levels. He even finished last season with an incredible 51 goals and 22 assists in just 50 outings for Barcelona.

It enabled the Argentine forward to win a 10th La Liga title and put him in pole position for a record-breaking sixth Ballon d’Or award.

The non-stop scoring Messi is clearly still at the top of his game with his numbers seeing no decline despite his advancing years. Although there have been some notable changes as he no longer challenges players in the same manner to when he was younger.

But Fabregas reckons his close friend fully deserves the plaudits that still come his way.

“That’s the thing with Leo, he reinvents himself season after season,” the AS Monaco midfielder told Goal.

“Maybe he is not the player who dribbles past three, four or five players and score an outstanding goal any more.

“Instead, now, he prefers to do 50-yard passes, leaving Jordi Alba one-versus-one with the goalkeeper.

“He sees one-twos around the box, he might do a chip and an assist… I think now he is more complete than ever.”

However, Messi’s season did suffer an all-time low following Barcelona’s humiliating Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool.

The Argentine superstar was powerless at Anfield as Barcelona blew a 3-0 aggregate lead to lose 4-3 to Liverpool. Nonetheless, Fabregas thinks Messi is still deserving of the 2019 Ballon d’Or.

“It is very difficult, it might depend on who won the Champions League,” said the ex-Arsenal and Chelsea star.

“Normally, these trophies are appointed to people who win big things. I think Messi won it in 2010 when they only won the league so it is definitely doable.

“I think it is if it is all about who is the best, then Messi is the best. No doubt about it.

“I think Liverpool have had a fantastic season, though. Potentially one of their players could be on the podium, for sure.”

Messi will be in action tonight for Argentina’s Copa America opener against Colombia tonight. The Group B match will begin at 00:00 (CET) in Salvador, Brazil.

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)