BARCELONA

Fàbregas picks Mou, Wenger and Flamini over Pep, Xavi and Iniesta

The Chelsea midfielder reckons Wenger and Mourinho are better managers than any of his former Barça bosses and labels Xavi and Iniesta's brand of football as "not real".

Fàbregas picks Mou, Wenger and Flamini over Pep, Xavi and Iniesta
GLYN KIRK AFP

With Monday night’s Premier League title-deciding war of attrition at Stamford Bridge still fresh in the memory, Cesc Fàbregas was back in the spotlight today during a Puma publicity event in which he selected Mathieu Flamini as the greatest midfielder he has ever played with. The Chelsea stalwart, who has lined up alongside some of the best midfielders of his generation – Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Santi Cazorla, Viera and Pires – surprisingly picked his former Arsenal team-mates Flamini and Gilberto Silva.

“Mathieu was physically very good and covered so much ground. Iniesta and Xavi are great on the eyes but [what they do] is not real football to me”.

Mathieu Flamini

The 28-year-old World Cup winner also raised a few eyebrows after being asked to name the best manager he has ever worked under. Despite spending three seasons with Barcelona, the Catalan native overlooked Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino, and instead responded with, “Mourinho and Wenger”.

Wenger was the most important because he gave me the real chance to show what I can do when I was 16. Mourinho took me after a difficult moment and made me believe in myself again. He gave me a real chance and helped me win the Premier League, which was something I really wanted to do”.

Cesc isn't Wenger's only fan

One former Barça team-mate did manage to top one of the categories though. When asked to name the biggest prankster he has ever shared a dressing room with, Cesc fired back, “Gerard Piqué for sure. He’d puncture your tyres with a knife”.

Pep Guardiola signed Fàbregas for Barcelona