Don't compare me with Messi: Fabregas
Messi seems to be casting a big shadow over Euro 2012. After Portugal's Ronaldo objected to being compared to the Argentinian, it's now the turn of Spaniard Cesc Fabregas to ask people not to compare him with his Barca team-mate.
Spain midfielder and sometime 'false number nine' Cesc Fabregas said Monday nobody should compare him with Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.
With Spain set to go up against Portugal in their Euro 2012 semi-final this week, Fabregas insisted he is a totally different kind of player even if with the Spanish he has been called upon to shoulder some goalscoring responsibilities - with success, netting against Italy and Ireland.
Messi has also been called a 'false number nine' but his role with Barca - and indeed with Argentina - is much wider-ranging, while he is also a natural goalscorer as witnessed by last season's record-breaking efforts.
The Argentinian maestro scored 73 goals in 60 games for Barcelona last season, breaking the European club record of 67 goals set by Bayern Munich's Gerd Mueller in 1972-73.
"I have never compared myself with Messi - that would be silly. I play where the boss puts me and that is that.
"I also think we shouldn't really be talking about Messi as he isn't here first of all and in any case is a very different player to me.
"We are talking about the best player in the history of football," said Cesc of his clubmate.
Yet he is also revelling in having a wide-ranging role with Spain - at least when coach Vicente Del Bosque decides to do without the services of Fernando Torres - or even strikers in general.
"I feel happy playing like that - I am free to roam. But even so to compare me with Messi is really over the top. Messi is one thing and Cesc Fabregas something else. I hope nobody expects me to beat five players and score.