Cesc Fàbregas has revealed the two midfield opponents he played against in the Premier League that he admired most.
Fabregas - currently at Ligue 1 side Monaco - is regarded as one of the Premier League's best ever midfielders himself, and sits second, behind only Ryan Giggs, in all time Premier League assists, with 111 over 12 years in the league with spells at Arsenal and Chelsea.
Surprisingly though, Giggs didn't make the cut as Fàbregas told Rio Ferdinand on The Locker Room that the two midfielders he admired most were Giggs' teammate Paul Scholes and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.
"Since I was little I had this thing about Steven Gerrard," the Spaniard told Ferdinand during his appearance on the ex-Manchester United man's Youtube show.
"He was someone in my hometown when we used to watch the highlights of the Premier League he used to score these screamers from outside the box, and running into space, and he used to be everywhere and I used to look up to him a lot."
When talking about Scholes, Fàbregas referred to his own style of play and why that factored into his admiration for the English midfielder.
"In terms of the way I play and the way that I see football, it is Paul Scholes.
"What a player. He loved one-twos, he was right, he was left, he always demanded the ball."
Fàbregas - who won two Premier League titles during his time at Chelsea - also went on to name the teammate who helped him the most, citing Patrick Vieira as a huge influence in the Spaniard becoming the player and the captain he was at his peak.
"If I have to say one in particular, maybe Patrick [Vieira] because he was also my position.
"And you know, even if I was 16, sometimes you can feel a bit threatened as a player - even if I was a nobody.
"But sometimes you just feel like 'I'm going to show him since day one that I'm the boss'. And he did actually and that helped me in terms of training.
And although Vieira could be tough in training, Fàbregas revealed the Frenchman would give him sound advice in attempts to better his game.
"But outside, he was fantastic like telling me: 'Hey Cesc, maybe you should work on this, or you know, put your body this way, or, you know, when I come from behind you should always look'.
"You know, stuff like this is like: 'Wow this guy is a proper legend'."
Source : 90min