Fabregas: We congratulated Messi for coming second in Ballon d'Or

The midfielder says the Barcelona players did not talk about the individual award after Monday's ceremony, but believes the debate over the Fifa prize has become tiresome
Cesc Fabregas says he and his Barcelona team-mates congratulated team-mate Lionel Messi for finishing second in Monday's Ballon d'Or and praised Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo for winning the prestigious prize.

Speaking at an event in the Catalan capital, Fabregas revealed he had not spoken with his colleagues about the Fifa award, but did say that he has grown weary of all of the controversy surrounding the Ballon d'Or.

"I'm happy it's over," the midfielder said. "We have to congratulate Cristiano for the trophy. The debate has become a bit tiresome and now we'll concentrate on the tough month ahead.

"We congratulated Messi for coming second. He was out for several months and he still only lost by two or three per cent. But we haven't spoken any more about it."

And Fabregas says the Argentine's return is great news for Barcelona.

"He did what he had to do: he took care of himself, he did what was like a good pre-season [in Argentina] and he has come back strong," the former Arsenal skipper enthused.

"Against Getafe we saw some of his really good plays, like in the second goal. His return is great, great news for Barcelona."

While Messi is back, however, Neymar sprained his ankle at Getafe in the Copa del Rey clash and the Brazilian is now set to be sidelined for three to four weeks.

"We are happy it is not too serious," Fabregas said. "It looks like he will be back soon and that is also good news because he is an important player for us."

Cesc also looked ahead to Barca's last-16 tie against Manchester City in the Champions League and had words of praise for coach Gerardo Martino.

"City will be a difficult tie was for us because they are a great team, but we are confident in our abilities. Everyone will want to play in that one," he admitted.

"Martino will make sure we are ready. He is a very intelligent coach and he's very flexible - he speaks with the players a lot and he likes to debate."

Cesc Fàbregas was speaking at PUMA's 2014 Nature of Believing event in Barcelona which featured the launch of the new evoPOWER football boot.

PUMA Power players Cesc Fàbregas, Marco Reus and Mario Balotelli put their football skills to the test on the evoPOWER wall, the custom built football simulator that utilises Hawk Eye technology to measure players’ power and accuracy.

evoPOWER was inspired by the freedom of movement of a bare foot and the players showcased their skills and the boots' performance enhancing technology through four interactive challenges.

For more information: www.puma.com/footballclub/global/en-india/bootlab/evopower