Having watched Barcelona give yet another lesson in incisive passing football in an 8-0 victory over Osasuna last night, I was more than a little surprised to see that Cesc Fabregas was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch last night. He scored a quite brilliant left footed volley, to register his fourth goal for the club since signing from Arsenal at the end of the transfer window.
I have to admit that at times I was more than a little bemused at Barca's persistent pursuit of Fabregas. Whilst there is no question that he is a magnificent, world class footballer, it just didn't seem like an area of the pitch that Barcelona needed to strengthen. A centre back looked like it should have been their top priority. I thought that this season Fabregas would probably rotate with Xavi and Iniesta, eventually being groomed to take their places when ages finally starts to catch up with them.
I couldn't have been more wrong. Guardiola has produced yet another masterstroke in unleashing the shackles from Fabregas. Playing in an advanced role just behind Lionel Messi, Fabregas has thrived scoring and creating goals for fun. It seems that finally getting his dream move back to Barca has re-invigorated the player who had started going stale under the pressure to deliver that long awaited trophy at Arsenal. His link up play with Messi has been quite staggering, as they picked up where they left off before Fabregas joined Arsenal all those years ago as a 16 year old.
Although the Catalan side have come in for some slight criticism of their early season form their can be no question that once again they are the team to beat both in Spain and Europe again this year. With the signing of younger players such as Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez it looks like Guardiola could well be plotting the next cycle for this incredible team, who will probably go down in history as the greatest to ever play the game. If Fabregas continues to blossom in the way that he has done since completing his move it seems that the perhaps the greatest competition the Barcelona players will have this season is who is voted World Player of the Year at the end of it.