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Weekend Premier League predictions

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Pires: Iniesta better than Messi

Former French international Robert Pires believes Andres Iniesta is Barcelona's best player, putting him ahead of Lionel Messi.

Iniesta, a World Cup and European champion with Spain, has twice fallen to the Argentinian in the Ballon d'Or, finishing second and third respectively in 2010 and 2013.

But Pires weighed into the argument by insisting the diminutive Spaniard is the driving force behind Barcelona's sustained success.

"For me, Iniesta is the best player at Barca," Pires told La Xarxa Radio. "We always talk about Messi, but without Iniesta Barcelona are a different team.

"He is the master of the team. He is the one who sets the pace for the whole team. He plays very easy."

However, Pires also believes former Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas is staring to exert his influence on the Barcelona dynamic.

"For me, the success of Cesc has been no surprise. He is doing very well and is a fixture in the side, and has been scoring a few goals," he said.

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