It’s been three seasons now since they were last team-mates, but that hasn’t stopped Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi’s friendship from blossoming.
With their respective football seasons over, the pair are currently enjoying their summer holidays before pre-season begins next month.
And Barcelona superstar Messi and Chelsea midfielder Fabregas have decided to spend some of that together in Spain’s Balaeric islands.
Accompanied by their families, the pair were seen basking in the Spanish sun on Thursday in Formentera.
Messi, his long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo and their eldest son Thiago dipped their toes in the sea before walking along the beach.
The trio were closely followed by Fabregas, his long-term partner Daniella Semaan and their eldest daughter Lia.
Fabregas and Messi were Barcelona team-mates for three seasons between 2011 and 2014 where they won four major honours together – including La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Fabregas subsequently joined Chelsea in the summer of 2014 while Messi remains at Barcelona.
Speculation over the latter’s future has been questioned due to an ongoing contract dispute; but one person who knows Messi well believes he will remain at the Nou Camp for the remainder of his glittering career.
The 29-year-old is yet to sign a new contract extension with the club, despite him about to enter the final year of his deal.
However, Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has no doubt Messi will remain a Barcelona player in the near future and played down his chances of coming to the Etihad.
He told Chinese news agency Xinhua when asked about Messi joining City: ‘No. I don’t think so. I know Messi very well. He and his family are my good friends.
‘I think he has settled in Barcelona, and he has been in Barcelona all his life. Naturally we think he will finish his playing career in Barcelona.
‘At least next year, maybe he can finish that career. After that he can go to China or US, but now I think he will stay in Barcelona.’
Soriano worked for Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, during which time Messi emerged as one of the world’s best players.
Messi has long been linked with a move to England, ever since City became one of the world’s wealthiest clubs.