Fernandes: I want to play alongside Iniesta

The Portugal international admitted who he thought was the the best player in the world, while revealing that he would like to one day play with the Spain ace
Besiktas midfielder Manuel Fernandes has expressed his desire to play alongside Barcelona's Andres Iniesta and admitted that he prefers Lionel Messi over Portuguese compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.

In an interview with Lig TV, in addition to praising the Blaugrana and giving his opinion on the debate about as to who is the world's best player, the former Benfica man also spoke about club-mate Ricardo Quaresma, his time in Turkey and the troubles presently facing his current team.

"I adore Andres Iniesta. Maybe it's because we play at the same position on the pitch. People highlight Lionel Messi more but, to me, Iniesta is more valuable. He's very balanced, skillful and intelligent," Fernandes said.

"I would love to play for Barcelona. They spend almost 80 per cent of the game with the ball at their feet and finish the game without breaking a sweat. Their opponents, on the other hand, try so hard to take the ball from them."

When pressed on the Messi v Ronaldo debate, Fernandes opted for the latter while brushing aside rumours that there are problems between him and Besiktas colleague Quaresma.

"I prefer Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo," he added.

"I have no problems with Ricardo Quaresma whatsoever. There has never been a problem between us. I just hope the club and him solve their problems as soon as possible.

"The allegations which suggest I won't be playing for Besiktas if Quaresma is to be forgiven is completely untrue. I'm a football player and my duty is to play football. The names are not irrelevant."

And although he did admit that times are tough at the Inonu, with the side languishing in 12th place after eight rounds of Super Lig matches, the midfielder is content with life in Istanbul, as he targets a greater role for the Seleccao.

"Besiktas defines my personality. Istanbul is a city that i enjoy to live in.  We're experiencing a tough time as a club and when the time is right, I will sit down with officials and negotiate a new contract," Fernandes revealed.

"I see myself playing for the national team. I believe i'm at that level. But of course, it's not for me to choose who plays for Portugal and I respect those who make those decisions.

"Club performances are important. If you keep your performance levels high, your chances of being selected for the national team increase. I want to keep my performances with Besiktas at a high level."

Fernandes has made nine appearances for Portugal, with his latest cap coming in a goalless draw at home to Poland.