Fabregas ready to stake Barcelona claim

The Spanish midfielder admits it is difficult to compete with the "best player in the world" but is nonetheless happy to assume a supporting role at Camp Nou
Cesc Fabregas says he has no qualms about sacrificing his preferred position to accomodate Lionel Messi in the Barcelona starting line-up.

The 25-year-old earned praise at Euro 2012 as Spain's 'false nine' following the absence of David Villa, but finds that position in Tito Vilanova's XI presently occupied by who he considers to be the finest footballer of all time.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Fabregas said: "At Barca, the best player of all time plays in my favourite position. I'm talking about Messi, of course, and luckily he doesn't play for Spain.

"My favourite role is as the attacking midfielder, where Wenger put me, behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1.

"Last year I played as a striker in a 3-4-3 behind Messi or the No.9. Now it is no longer the case. It's up to me to provide assists, free my team-mates, see the space and create. But I'm calm, I've never been a 30-goal-a-season player."

Fabregas also expressed his surprise at the high standards set in La Liga this season and believes it is a more competitive league than the Premier League.

"When I returned to Spain [from Arsenal] I was taken aback by the fact that La Liga is harder to win than the Premier League," he added.

"In England it's easier to win the league, because even if you lose five or six games you still have a good chance.

"Spanish teams are better prepared tactically. It is more difficult to score and assist here as there is less freedom and more pressing. England is more fun because it is less defensive."