CESC Fabregas has claimed Barcelona have been little more than “Lionel Messi and 10 others” this season.
Messi’s future at Barcelona has come under a lot of scrutiny after he suggested last month he could leave the club in the near future.
Barcelona have struggled to reach consistent form this season, with Real Madrid setting the pace in La Liga, while it took a top-class showing from Messi to help the Catalans beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 to top their Champions League group.
Fabregas played alongside the Argentine in the Barca youth system and again in the first team when he returned to Spain following his time at Arsenal and, while the Chelsea ace admits he would love to see Messi alongside him at Stamford Bridge, he suggests his importance to Barcelona has never been greater.
“This season Barca are Messi and 10 others,” he told Radio Marca. “Messi has saved his team on many occasions.”
When asked if he thinks Messi should join him in west London, Fabregas added: “I wish! Why not? I’d love that to happen. I’d be all for it.
“As a Barca man, I believe that Messi deserves to retire there for all that he has given the club.
“He is a legend that has changed Barca’s history. But, as his team-mate and friend, without doubt I’d love to have Leo by my side.”
The World Cup winner was also asked if he felt Jose Mourinho would be a good fit to coach the Camp Nou club.
“I’d say that Barcelona have a style that he has already experienced and understands perfectly,” he replied.
“Chelsea play a very similar game: we want to be the protagonists, have possession and look to score. We may have a different system, but the philosophy is similar.
“Mourinho adapts to the players he has. What makes him so great as a coach is that he adapts to any situation and his teams can play in many different ways. It’s a very intelligent way of managing.”