Cesc Fabregas insists Chelsea cannot afford to underestimate Andres Iniesta in next week’s Champions League encounter.
Spanish great Iniesta is nearing the end of his Barcelona career, with speculation that the 33-year-old could be on his way to China.
However, with January signing Philippe Coutinho cup-tied for Barcelona’s last 16 Champions League tie with Chelsea on Tuesday, Iniesta is expected to be handed a starting role in midfield.
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But while Iniesta’s best years may be behind him, Chelsea midfielder Fabregas knows that his Spain team-mate’s football brain remains as sharp as ever.
“He’s still good; for this type of player age doesn’t really matter,” Fabregas said.
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“Once you have a talent, once you have the class that he and so many other ‘big’ players have, they can play until their late 30s.
“Physically, it’s important, obviously because the game nowadays depends a lot on that. But when you have the quality, when you have the intelligence, it can sometimes compensate.”