Messi makes Barcelona secure in hunt for trophies, says Fabregas

The Blaugrana midfielder says the Argentine’s return from injury represents a big boost as the Catalan club chase silverware on three fronts at the business end of the season

Cesc Fabregas says Lionel Messi is excited to be back following his recent injury problems and believes the Argentine’s return brings added security to Barcelona as the Catalan club chase three trophies in the remaining months of the season.

The midfielder, who often filled in for his team-mate in attack as the 26-year-old took time out to recover from injury in his native Argentina in November and December, also claims the four-time Ballon d’Or winner has returned with renewed energy and freshness following his spell on the sidelines.

“When Messi returned from Argentina, he looked rested and in really good shape,” Fabregas said at a launch event for the PUMA evoPOWER boot in Barcelona. “When you are coming back from such a serious injury, you need time. He is getting back to becoming the Leo that we all know and he will grow in confidence as he plays more games and the sensations improve.

“He is in good shape and looks inspired. I think what he did was the best thing he could have done: he disconnected himself from everything, from the press and all that, went to his country to rest and get his fitness back. He benefited from that and now he is very excited about being back and winning games.

“His return is great news for the coach, for the club, for everyone. We feel very secure with Leo back.”

Fabregas claims the rest of the squad pulled together to make light of the Argentine’s absence, but hopes his team-mate has put his problems in the past.

“Hopefully it doesn’t have to happen any more and he can be fit for the rest of the season,” the former Arsenal captain said. “It’s always important that when your star player cannot play and is not on the pitch, that the other players step up their game and feel more important.

“We always just try to do better for the team [when he is out]. But obviously he is our main man and we always hope he can be next to us on the pitch.”

Barcelona lead La Liga after 21 rounds of the competition, while the Catalans are also making progress in the Copa del Rey and face a tough tie against Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“The objective for Barcelona is always to win everything,” Fabregas explained. “We are in three competitions – four including the Supercopa – and we won that against Atletico Madrid.

“Now we are competing against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in La Liga and facing the best teams in Europe in the Champions League. We are also progressing well in the Copa del Rey, so we want to reach and win every single trophy that is available this season.”

In La Liga, however, Barca’s lead is slender, with Atletico also on 54 points and Madrid just one behind with 17 games remaining.

“I think we can become champions if we keep playing the way we are,” Fabregas added. “It’s going to be difficult because we are always competing against one of the best teams in the world, that’s Real Madrid, and there’s also Atletico Madrid.

“It’s going to be tough, but we have been very good, especially away from home. At home, we have been very consistent and out of the last five Ligas, we have won four so we have a good chance to win but we will have to work hard for it.”

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