Revealed: How almost all of Barca's first team have been tapping up Cesc Fabregas
Published 15:00 15/07/10 By MirrorFootball
Barcelona's very public courting of Cesc Fabregas has moved beyond the flirting stage and is now very much in the 'your place or mine?' stage.
You could be excused for thinking that, over the past few months, everyone connected to the Catalan club has come out and said they would like to see the Arsenal skipper playing at the Camp Nou next season - mainly because they have.
Want the proof? Try this litany of tapping-up on for size:
The Argentinean wizard was the first to break ranks, going on the record as early as April 4 to say Fabregas will join Barca - it's in his blood . He didn't stop there, though: during the World Cup finals, Messi not only revealed that playing with Cesc at Barcelona again would be 'special' , but he also copped to 'tapping up' Fabregas by sending him text messages advocating a move. Messi's latest (but surely not last) public display of affection came earlier this week when he said that, yes, he would be delighted if Cesc came to Barcelona . Don't sit on the fence, Leo: tell us how you really feel...
Quite why one half of Barcelona's dynamic midfield duo would want extra competition for his place is unclear, but Xavi has nonetheless been one of the most prolific Cesc wooers. His opening gambit of I'd love Cesc Fabregas to join Barcelona was delivered at the end of last season, and soon followed by this cocksure claim made during the World Cup finals: 'It's clear Fabregas will come to Barcelona' . His piece de resistance was thie biologically suspect statement that Cesc has ' Barcelona DNA in his blood '.
Next up with the hard-sell was central defender Pique, who initially bellowed Fabregas will find it 'impossible' to turn down Barcelona before turning the screw at Spain's World Cup celebration party by claiming Cesc is dreaming of Barca .
Not content with starring in heavy metal rockumentary Anvilxxx, Barca defender Puyol also has a nice sideline in fortune telling, predicting way back in May that Cesc will join me at Barcelona . Just in case the message wasn't clear enough, he followed that up by insisting Fabregas would be perfect for Barca . Really, Carlos? Why hasn't anyone said?
The BBC's World Cup pundits clearly hadn't a clue who Pedro was when he took Fernando Torres' starting spot for Spain, but the Barca forward clearly knows a thing or two about English football. Why, look: here he is spouting the controversial opinion that Cesc would be Fab at Barca . Fancy!
If you thought Xavi's partner in crime had been a bit quiet on this most pressing of issues then fear not: Iniesta was merely biding his time. When he did eventually break his silence, it was worth waiting for. Apparently he would (drum roll please...) love Fabregas to come to Barca .
The latest midfield turkey to vote for this particular turkey did so today, although he at least had the decency to admit that Fab was an Arsenal player before expressing his desire to see him quit the Emirates.
The manager has been suspiciously quiet on the subject of Cesc Fabregas - probably because he was too busy sneaking around in South Africa meeting up with the Arsenal skipper in person to speak to the press.
So who's next? Clearly there's a rota at the Camp Nou, and we have a sneaking suspicion that newboy David Villa will be next. Or possibly Consuela the tea lady. All we'll then need is Victor Valdes, Dani Alves, Rafael Marquez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bojan Kirkic to speak out before we've got the full set.
It would be remiss not to mention the former Arsenal star and current Barcelona forgotten man, who actually warned Cesc NOT to go . Which only goes to show that the Belarussian is so out of favour in Spain that he hasn't even been given the official script...