A product of the much-admired youth system at FC Barcelona, Cesc Fabregas chose to leave Can Barça at just 16 to try his luck with English giants Arsenal. Soon becoming the club’s youngest debutant and goalscorer, by the age of 21 the central midfielder was the Gunners’ captain and went on to play a total of eight seasons under Arsene Wenger – racking up 303 matches and 57 goals.
Victory in just one Community Shield and one FA Cup in his time at Arsenal were not enough to quench his thirst for silverware, however, and in 2011 Fabregas returned ‘home’ to Camp Nou – where he gelled immediately and in spectacular style with Lionel Messi and Co. Indeed, in his first season with Barça he won the Spanish Supercup, the UEFA Supercup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey. Playing in a slightly more advanced role than in his spell in England, even sometimes being used up front as a ‘false nine’, Fabregas continues to be a regular source of goals and assists for the Catalan club.
A senior international since the age of 18, Fabregas played an influential role in Spain’s triumphs at the UEFA EUROs in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. In fact, it was his pass that freed Andres Iniesta to strike La Roja’s winner in the Final on South African soil.