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Cesc Fābregas

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Francesc"Cesc" Fābregas Soler (born 4 May 1987 in Arenys de Mar, Barcelona)[2][3] is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Arsenal in the English Premier League and for the Spanish national team. Fābregas started his career as a trainee with FC Barcelona but was signed by Arsenal in September 2003. He did not feature much in his first season for The Gunners, but following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004–05 season, his playing time increased. Before long, he had established himself as Arsenal's starting central midfielder and playmaker. He went on to break several of the club's records, earning a reputation as a technically-gifted player. In international football, the Spaniard's national career began when he represented the Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of his club performances, he was called up to the senior squad in 2006. He has played in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008, where he was one of the key players that helped Spain lift the trophy.

Club career

Early years

Fābregas was born in 1987 to Francesc Fābregas Sr., who runs a property company, and Núria Soler, the owner of a pastry company. Fābregas has supported FC Barcelona since childhood and went to his first match when he was nine months old with his grandfather.[4]

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It was at FC Barcelona where Fābregas began his club football career. Initially, he was played as a volante (defensive midfielder), yet he was also a prolific scorer, sometimes scoring more than 30 goals in a season for the club's youth teams. However, he did not manage to play a first-team game at the Camp Nou.[5] Sensing that he would have limited opportunities at Barcelona,[6] he joined Arsenal, signing for the London club on 11 September 2003.[3] Initially, he found life difficult in England's capital but soon struck a friendship with Spanish-speaking team-mate Philippe Senderos, who helped him settle down.[7] As a 16-year-old, Fābregas did not contemplate breaking into the first team immediately but looked up to senior players like Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva, while concentrating on training and learning the English language.[7] He nevertheless made his début for Arsenal not long after, on 23 October 2003, in a League Cup tie at home to Rotherham United. In doing so he became Arsenal's youngest ever first-team player, aged 16 years and 177 days.[8] He then became the youngest goals scorer in Arsenal's history in a later round of the League Cup, scoring in a 5–1 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers.[9] Although Arsenal went on to win the league unbeaten in the 2003–04 season,[10] Fābregas was not awarded a winner's medal because he did not play a single league game.[11]

Cesc Fabregas in 2008


Cesc Fabregas 2008

It was not until the start of the 2004–05 season that the Spaniard started making first-team appearances in matches outside the League Cup. His first match of the season was against Manchester United in the Community Shield. Following an injury to Vieira, Fābregas stepped in and made four consecutive Premier League starts. He was praised for his performances in those games, even claiming a goal against Blackburn Rovers in a 3–0 victory, and becoming Arsenal's youngest ever goalscorer in a league game.[12][13] With further injuries to Edu and Gilberto Silva, he received more playing time in all competitions.[2][6] In the UEFA Champions League, he became the second-youngest goalscorer in the competition's history after scoring the third goal against Rosenborg BK in a 5–1 win.[14] He concluded his season by winning his first honours with Arsenal when he was in the starting eleven that defeated Manchester United on penalties in the 2005 FA Cup Final.[15]

Making the starting eleven

After the departure of Vieira to Juventus, Fābregas featured regularly in the Arsenal central midfield alongside Gilberto Silva. He made 49 appearances in all competitions during the 2005–06 season.[11] Despite his young age, his performances came under greater scrutiny due to his increased involvement in the first team. Further, as Fābregas possessed a smaller frame and played with less aggression than Vieira, there were initially doubts over his ability to fill in the void left by the Frenchman.[16] Nevertheless, Fābregas asserted his own style of play and impressed pundits in the Champions League against Real Madrid and Juventus.[17][18][19] In the latter, he scored Arsenal's first goal and set up Thierry Henry for the second,[17] at the same time proving that he could compete against tough, hard-tackling midfielders like Vieira.[19] He then played in the final against his former club Barcelona, but Arsenal were defeated 2–1,[20] completing a trophyless 2005–06 campaign for Arsenal.

Personal information
Full name Francesc Fābregas Soler
Date of birth 4 May 1987 (1987-05-04) (age 21)
Place of birth    Arenys de Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Central midfielder
Club information
Current club Arsenal
Number 4
Youth clubs
  CE Matarķ
FC Barcelona
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
2003– Arsenal 147 (15)   
National team2
Spain U17
Spain U21
006 0(5)
001 0(1)
036 0(1)
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 15:50, 1 November 2008 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 15:50, 1 November 2008 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Fābregas' increase in exposure drew transfer speculation during the summer; Real Madrid expressed a desire to sign the Spaniard despite his long-term contract with Arsenal,[21] but Arsenal manager Arsčne Wenger stated that Arsenal would not listen to any offers.[22] In September 2006, with six years left on his deal, Arsenal offered a new five-year deal (with an option to extend by a further three years, making eight years) to the midfielder, which he signed on 19 October 2006.[23] While the contract was unusually long, Fābregas cited Arsenal's playing style and Wenger as reasons for his long-term commitment to the club.[24][25]

"My favourite hobby is to play FIFA 08 on my XBOX in just my boxer shorts and socks" - Fabegras


The 2006–07 season was a learning experience for the young Arsenal squad and Fābregas. The club again failed to secure any major honours and were defeated by city rivals Chelsea in the League Cup final.[26] However, Fābregas emerged as one of the key creative players for the team, playing in every single league game.[11][27] He kickstarted Arsenal's UEFA Champions League 2006-07 campaign when he scored a brace in a 3–0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in a qualifier match.[28] In the Premier League, he notched up 13 assists, which was the second-highest total in the league.[11][27] He ended the season with several individual honours, including the Golden Boy award, presented by the Italian paper TuttoSport, based on a poll of leading writers across Europe.[29] He was also named in the 2006 UEFA Team of the Year,[30] and named FA Premier League Player of the Month for January 2007.[31] Additionally, he was nominated for both PFA Players' Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year, although both awards went to Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.[32] In June 2007, he was named Arsenal's Player of the Season, taking in 60% of the votes.[33]

The 2007–08 season began with much uncertainty for Arsenal. First, David Dein, the club's vice-chairman, left amidst allegations of internal strife, followed by the departure of the club's all-time top goals scorer and captain, Thierry Henry, who signed for Barcelona. There was also speculation over Wenger's future with the club.[34] Fābregas knew that he would become the most important player for Arsenal, but stated he was ready for the challenge.[35] He started the season well, chalking up goals and assists,[11] and website soccernet attributed the early success of Arsenal to the young Spaniard.[36] His start to the season also earned him the O2 Player of the Month award from Arsenal fans for August, September and October,[37] as well as the Premier League Player of the Month for September.[38] With Arsenal leading the league table until March, Fābregas was equally instrumental in the club's Champions League campaign; in the return leg against AC Milan, the midfielder scored late in the game to send Arsenal into the quarter-finals.[39] On 11 April 2008, Fābregas was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards for the second year running;[40] he was later crowned the winner of the latter, and named in the PFA Team of the Year.[41] Arsenal's failure to keep in the Premiership race however—coupled with late round exits in the cup competitions—meant that it was to be another trophy less season.[42]

Spanish national team

Youth team

Although he features regularly for the Spain national football team, Fābregas' international career began at youth level. At the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship held in Finland, he finished as top scorer of the tournament despite playing in midfield, and was voted Player of the Tournament.[5] Spain finished runners-up in the tournament to Brazil.[43] Fābregas was next involved in the 2004 UEFA U-17 European Championship, where Spain also finished runners-up.[44] Fābregas was named the Golden Player of the tournament.[44]

Senior team

After emerging as one of Arsenal's key players in only his second season at the club, it did not take long for Fābregas to be called up to the senior squad. Noting his impressive performances in Arsenal's 2006 Champions League campaign, Spain coach Luis Aragones named the teenager in the team for a friendly against the Ivory Coast.[45] In that game, Fābregas became the youngest player capped for Spain in 70 years.[2] He received favourable reviews for his début, and was involved in the build-up to Spain's first goal in the 3–2 victory over the Ivorians.[2][46]

On 15 May 2006, Fābregas was selected for the Spanish 2006 World Cup squad. During the tournament, he came on as a second-half substitute in Spain's first two group matches, contributing an assist to striker Fernando Torres in their 3–1 victory against Tunisia.[47] He then started alongside Spain's reserve players (including then-Arsenal teammate José Antonio Reyes) in Spain's third group match against Saudi Arabia.[48] He earned a starting role in Spain's first knockout-stage match against France, in place of Marcos Senna, but Spain lost 3–1.[49] Fābregas also became the youngest player in Spanish football history to participate in a World Cup when he came on as a substitute for Luis García after 77 minutes in the 4–0 victory against Ukraine on 13 June 2006; he was then 19 years and 41 days old.[50] He was later nominated for the Gillette Young Player of the World Cup, but Germany's Lukas Podolski won the award.[51]

In UEFA Euro 2008, Fābregas was issued with squad number 10, rather than 18 which he had previously held.[52] Despite featuring mostly as a substitute, the midfielder made a considerable impact in Spain's campaign. He scored his first international goal in that competition in Spain's 4–1 win over Russia and also had an assist in that game.[53] Spain won all three of their group games and met Italy in the quarter-finals. In that match, Fābregas scored the winning penalty in the penalty shoot-out after the teams remained deadlocked 0–0 after extra time.[54] In the semi-finals, Spain defeated Russia 3–0 with Fābregas providing two assists.[53] The midfielder made the starting eleven in the final against Germany which Spain prevailed 1–0; this was Spain's first major title since 1964.[55] For his efforts, Fābregas was named in the Team of the Tournament, a 23-man squad selected by the UEFA Technical Team.[53]

Style of play

Originally brought to Arsenal as a youth to slowly develop via the League Cup, Fābregas was unexpectedly deployed as Arsenal's starting central midfielder following injuries to fellow midfielders Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva and Edu during the 2004–05 season. Fābregas functions mostly as a playmaker and his main asset is his passing range. As one of the most coveted young talents in the game today, he has been described as being a vital part of Arsenal's first team, bringing vision, creativity and selflessness to Arsenal's intricate passing game, and displaying maturity that belies his age.[2][3][5][6][33][35][56][57] In set pieces, he is one of the first-choice corner kick and free kick takers in the team.

Fābregas has stated in interviews that while Vieira served as his role model and mentor,[58] he styles his game after his childhood hero and compatriot Josep Guardiola.[7] In that sense he is of a different mould from his Arsenal predecessors who play in the same position, preferring skill over strength.[7][16] Initially, this led to criticisms of his lightweight frame and less aggressive style of play,[16][19] with even former teammate Ashley Cole criticising the Spaniard as "an unproven featherweight" in his autobiography.[59]

However, Fābregas' statistics have improved over the seasons, and he has adopted a more aggressive style of play. His importance to the team as the main creative force is also reflected in his contributing 16 assists in all competitions in the 2006–07 season.[11] By his own admission, scoring was a weaker part of his game in his first few seasons at Arsenal; wasteful finishing also being symptomatic of the larger problem surrounding Arsenal in the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.[56] This changed initially in the 2007–08 season when he scored 11 goals in his first 16 games, and Arsenal manager Wenger claimed that the Spaniard's previous inability to score was down to a mental state, and even compared the Spaniard to Michel Platini, a French midfielder renowned for scoring.[60][61] Given his young age, concerns have also been raised over the large number of games Fābregas has played for club and country in the last few seasons, as burnout may become an issue if he is not adequately rested,[45][62] although the midfielder has yet to sustain any major injuries in his six-year career with Arsenal.

Career achievements

  • Winner
    • FA Cup: 2004–05
    • FA Community Shield: 2004–05


  • Runner-up
    • UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
    • League Cup: 2006–07
    • FA Community Shield: 2005–06


  • Winner
    • European Championship: 2008
  • Runner-up
    • 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship
    • 2004 UEFA U-17 European Championship
  • Professional Footballers' Association
    • Premier League Player of the Month: January 2007, September 2007
    • PFA Young Player of the Year: 2007–08
    • PFA Team of the Year: 2007–08
    • Euro 2008 Team of the tournament
  • Europe
    • UEFA Team of the Year: 2006
    • UEFA Team of the Tournament: 2008
    • Bravo Award (under-21 equivalent of Ballon d'Or): 2006
    • UEFA U-17 European Championship Golden Player: 2004
  • World
    • FIFA U-17 Golden Shoe: 2003
    • FIFA U-17 Golden Ball: 2003
  • Arsenal
    • O2/ Player of the Season: 2006–07, 2007–08[64]

Other projects

Fābregas starred in his own one-time only television programme, called "The Cesc Fābregas Show: Nike Live", that aired on 19 May 2008. The programme was sponsored by Nike and was shown on Sky Sports. The show featured Fābregas in several sketches with Arsenal teammates like Philippe Senderos and Nicklas Bendtner, as well as coach Arsčne Wenger, Fābregas' parents and Little Britain star Matt Lucas.[65]


References and Notes

Wiki Source



Cesc is an amazing footballer, however there are still some things he could improve on (obviously nothing springs to mind when I want it to but you get me) - xox

come to barca.

better than ronaldo and lampard. best player in the world.

FABREGAS!!!!!!!!! truly the best player in the world from zak

fab is fab. i luv him so much n + im his no. 1 fan love liam from barrow


thanks cesc

Fabregas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i am your birthday mate i love ur game

Fabregas is one of the best football players I've ever seen. I have a season ticket at arsenal and that goal against mancity was fabulous. Charlie - London

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