Cesc Fabregas has named a star-studded dream five-a-side team which includes “best player of all time” Lionel Messi and Chelsea colleague Eden Hazard.
The 30-year-old midfielder is fortunate to have played alongside some iconic performers over the course of an illustrious career for club and country.
With Spain, Fabregas has tasted World Cup and European Championship glory, while spells at Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea have delivered Premier League, La Liga, Club World Cup and FA Cup triumphs.
Whittling down the cream of those he has worked with to just five names is no easy task, with there the deepest of talent pools from which to select.
Fabregas has, however, given that challenge a go and opted to name international colleague Iker Casillas between the sticks – with Porto’s iconic goalkeeper have skippered Spain to World Cup glory in 2010.
In front of him sat Gerard Pique, a centre-half Fabregas has enjoyed considerable success alongside with his country and while on the books at Barca.
Another of those he enjoyed working with at Camp Nou is five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, with the mercurial Argentine considered to be the finest player of this or any other generation.
Fabregas told Soccer AM of a once-in-a-lifetime talent: “What can I say about him? Whatever I say I'm sure it's been repeated by everyone else. He's the best player of all time.
“It's unfair on the old players because I was not lucky enough to watch them week-in week-out, but to be the best in every single game during so many years every three days in the conditions nowadays it's tough. Everyone tactically, physically works better. He's got to be the best for sure.”
Messi’s creativity is paired with that of Belgium star Hazard, with Fabregas a big fan of his Stamford Bridge colleague.
He added: “Top player. He can go one-on-one, can also hold the possession of the ball and has a great passing ability. I will go for him for my Chelsea pick. With Eden, in my opinion, it is up to him [to aim for the Ballon D'Or] because he's got all the qualities.
“I've played with top players and I know what he can do. For this reason for me it's up to him. In my opinion with the qualities he's got, not only technically but without the ball, when he's on the top of his game he'll always be in my team.”
And up top, Fabregas has gone for former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry, saying: “I want to pick one player from every team that I've played for. He's a fantastic player, one of the best in the world at his peak. At some point he was unstoppable.
“When I first came to Arsenal in 2003 he was at his peak and I've not seen many strikers play or handle defenders like how he used to do it. He was fantastic on his day and for Arsenal he was the hero of the team.”
Managing such talent should not be too difficult, and for that reason Fabregas says he would take the reins himself.
A man with ambitions to one day move into coaching added: “I've played for the very best so I'm going to go for the future very best which is... me. They are the kind of players I would love to have in my team and I think I can handle this team. I could make them play well.”