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Francesc Fabregas

Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas i Soler (; born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish association football who plays as a association football positions Centre midfielder (CM) for La Liga club FC Barcelona.

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Francesc Fabregas biography

Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas i Soler (; born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish association football who plays as a association football positions Centre midfielder (CM) for La Liga club FC Barcelona.

Fàbregas started Francesc Fabregas career as a trainee with Barcelona but was signed by Premier League side Arsenal F.C. in September 2003 at the age of 16. Following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004-05 in English football, Francesc Fabregas went on to establish himself as Arsenal's starting central midfielder, playmaker, and captain. Francesc Fabregas broke several of the club's records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best young players for Francesc Fabregas position. In 2011, Francesc Fabregas returned to Barcelona for an initial fee of £29m (€34m) with a further £4m (€5m) in variables.

In international football, the Spaniard's national career began when Francesc Fabregas represented the Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of Francesc Fabregas club performances, Francesc Fabregas was called up to the senior squad in 2006. Francesc Fabregas has played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup, helping Spain to become eventual winners in the two most recent tournaments.

Early years

Fabregas was born in Arenys de Mar, Province of Barcelona, Crown of Aragon to Francesc Fàbregas, Sr., who runs a property company, and Núria Soler, the owner of a pastry company. Fàbregas has supported FC Barcelona since childhood and went to Francesc Fabregas first match when Francesc Fabregas was nine months old with Francesc Fabregas grandfather. Francesc Fabregas began Francesc Fabregas club football career with CE Mataró, before being signed for Barcelona's La Masia youth academy aged 10 in 1997. Francesc Fabregas first coach, Señor Blai, reportedly did not select Fàbregas for matches against Barcelona in an attempt to hide Francesc Fabregas from their scouts. This tactic, however, was unable to withstand Barcelona for long, and Mataró gave in and allowed Fàbregas to train with Barcelona one day per week. Eventually Fàbregas joined Barcelona's academy full time. Francesc Fabregas initial training was as a Midfielder Defensive midfielder playing alongside notable names such as Gerard Piqué and Lionel Messi. Although Francesc Fabregas was a prolific scorer, sometimes scoring even more than 30 goals in a season for the club's youth teams, Francesc Fabregas did not manage to play a FC Barcelona game at the Camp Nou. During Francesc Fabregas time at Barcelona's youth academy, Fàbregas idolised Barcelona's then-captain and number four Josep Guardiola, who would later give Fàbregas Francesc Fabregas shirt as consolation when Fàbregas' parents divorced.

Club career


Adapting to England

Sensing that Francesc Fabregas would have limited opportunities at Barcelona, Fàbregas joined Arsenal F.C. in their Arsenal F.C. Academy, signing for the London club on 11 September 2003. As a 16-year-old, Fàbregas 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. Francesc Fabregas then became the youngest goalscorer in Arsenal's history in a later round of the League Cup, scoring in a 5–1 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.. Although Arsenal went on to The Invincibles (football) in the 2003-04 in English football, Fàbregas was not awarded a winner's medal because Francesc Fabregas did not play a single league game.

It was not until the start of the 2004-05 in English football that the Spaniard started making first team appearances in matches outside the League Cup. Francesc Fabregas first match of the season was against Manchester United F.C. in the FA Community Shield. Following an injury to Vieira, Fàbregas stepped in and made four consecutive Premier League starts. Francesc Fabregas was praised for Francesc Fabregas performances in those games, even claiming a goal against Blackburn Rovers F.C. in a 3–0 victory, and becoming Arsenal's youngest ever goalscorer in a league game. With further injuries to Eduardo César Gaspar and Gilberto Silva, Francesc Fabregas received more playing time in all competitions. In the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, Francesc Fabregas became the second-youngest goalscorer in the competition's history after scoring the third goal against Rosenborg BK in a 5–1 win. Francesc Fabregas concluded Francesc Fabregas season by winning Francesc Fabregas first honours with Arsenal when Francesc Fabregas was in the starting eleven that defeated Manchester United on penalty shootout (association football) in the 2005 FA Cup Final.

Making the starting eleven

After the departure of Vieira to Juventus F.C., Fàbregas was given the Frenchman's number 4 shirt and featured regularly in the Arsenal central midfield alongside Gilberto Silva. Francesc Fabregas made 49 appearances in all competitions during the 2005-06 in English football. Nevertheless, Fàbregas asserted Francesc Fabregas own style of play and impressed pundits in the Champions League against Real Madrid C.F. and Juventus. In the latter, Francesc Fabregas scored Arsenal's first goal and set up Thierry Henry for the second, completing a trophyless 2005–06 campaign for Arsenal.

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

The 2006-07 in English football was a learning experience for the young Arsenal squad and Fàbregas. The club again failed to secure any major honours and were defeated by city rivals Chelsea F.C. in the Football League Cup Final 2007. However, Fàbregas emerged as one of the key creative players for the team, playing in every single league game. Francesc Fabregas kickstarted Arsenal's UEFA Champions League 2006-07 campaign when Francesc Fabregas scored a brace in a 3–0 win over NK Dinamo Zagreb in a qualifier match. In the Premier League, Francesc Fabregas notched up 13 assist (soccer), which was the second-highest total in the league. Francesc Fabregas was also named in the 2006 UEFA Team of the Year, and named FA Premier League Player of the Month for January 2007. Additionally, Francesc Fabregas 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. In June 2007, Francesc Fabregas was named Arsenal's Player of the Season, taking in 60% of the votes.

The 2007-08 in English football 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 goalscorer and captain, Thierry Henry, who signed for Barcelona. There was also speculation over Wenger's future with the club. Fàbregas knew that Francesc Fabregas would become the most important player for Arsenal, but stated Francesc Fabregas was ready for the challenge. Francesc Fabregas started the season well, chalking up goals and assists, Francesc Fabregas start to the season also earned Francesc Fabregas the O2 Player of the Month award from Arsenal fans for August, September and October, as well as the Premier League Player of the Month for September. With Arsenal leading the league table until March, Fàbregas was equally instrumental in the club's UEFA Champions League 2007-08; in the return leg against A.C. Milan, the midfielder scored late in the game to send Arsenal into the quarter-finals. Though Arsenal ended the season trophyless, Fàbregas amassed several personal awards. On 11 April 2008, Fàbregas was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards for the second year running; Francesc Fabregas was later crowned the winner of the latter, and named in the PFA_Team_of_the_Year Premier_League. Francesc Fabregas was also named the 2007–08 Player of the Season.


On 24 November 2008, 14 league games into the 2008-09 in English football, Fàbregas was named as the successor to William Gallas as club captain. However, just as Arsenal were getting back into the title race after a poor start to the season, the Spaniard was ruled out for four months after sustaining a knee injury against Liverpool. The Gunners eventually finished the season without any silverware, coming in fourth in the league and being knocked out at the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League 2008–09. In tandem with Arsenal's policy to groom its young players, the team that Fàbregas led into the new season consisted mostly of the same young nucleus as before, with the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Gaël Clichy, Abou Diaby, Denílson Pereira Neves, Samir Nasri, Alexandre Song, and Theo Walcott in tow.

In the opening league game of 2009-10 in English football, Fàbregas scored a brace and managed two assists in Arsenal's 6–1 away win against Everton F.C.. Arsenal went on to secure qualification for the UEFA Champions League 2009–10 by beating Celtic F.C. over two legs, but their early momentum to the season was disrupted by consecutive league game losses to Manchester United F.C. and Manchester City F.C.. The team bounced back strongly after this setback, and with Fàbregas being prolific in scoring and setting up Francesc Fabregas teammates, it went unbeaten in the next 13 games. Despite suffering four league losses even before mid-season approached, Arsenal managed to lead the league standings after 22 games. On 31 March 2010, in the Champions League first leg of the quarter-final against Barcelona, Fàbregas suffered a leg fracture before scoring the equalising goal in the game which ended 2–2. Arsenal, who were four points behind league leaders Manchester United, were deprived of their captain for the remaining six league games of the season;

Before the start of the 2010-11 in English football, there was once again intense media speculation about the Spaniard's future, and in June 2010, a €35 million bid from Barcelona was rejected. The 2010–11 season turned out to be an extremely competitive one in the Premier League; even though Arsenal had lost five games before mid-season, they were jostling for pole position with Manchester United and Manchester City. Going into late February, Arsenal were still in contention for the quadruple, but within a span of two weeks they lost in the 2011 Football League Cup Final, were eliminated by Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League 2010–11, and defeated in the FA Cup quarter-final. Although Fàbregas did not play in the League Cup Final, it was Francesc Fabregas misplaced backheel pass during the second leg of the Champions League game against Barcelona that allowed them to level the aggregate score. Arsenal remained in contention for the league title until a series of draws in the final third of the season caused them to fall too far behind league leaders Manchester United; they ended the season fourth. The 2011-12 in English football was once again marked by uncertainty. Barcelona made several bids for Fàbregas, while Nasri, Arsenal's star performer the previous campaign, was courted by Manchester City.


On 15 August 2011, Barcelona signed Fàbregas for an initial fee of £29 million (€34 million) with a further £4 million (€5 million) in variables, ending one of the most protracted transfer sagas in recent times. Fàbregas joined a team that had won three La Liga titles in a row and two Champions League titles in three years, and one that featured the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, and David Villa. Francesc Fabregas made Francesc Fabregas debut in the second leg of the Supercopa de España, coming on as a substitute against Real Madrid C.F.. Barcelona won the tie 3–2 and 5–4 on aggregate. Francesc Fabregas scored Francesc Fabregas first goal in a 2–0 win against F.C. Porto as Barcelona won the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, and Francesc Fabregas first league goal on Francesc Fabregas league debut against Villarreal CF.

International career

Youth team

Although Francesc Fabregas features regularly for the Spain national football team, Fàbregas' international career began at youth level. At the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship held in Finland, Francesc Fabregas finished as top scorer of the tournament despite playing in midfield, and was voted Player of the Tournament. Fàbregas was next involved in the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, where Spain also finished runners-up. Francesc Fabregas was named the Golden Player of the tournament by FIFA. In that game, Fàbregas became the youngest player cap (sport) for Spain in 70 years, beating Sergio Ramos' record.

2006 World Cup

On 15 May 2006, Fàbregas was selected for the Spanish 2006 FIFA World Cup squad. During the tournament, Francesc Fabregas 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 national football team. Francesc Fabregas then started alongside Spain's reserve players (including then-Arsenal teammate José Antonio Reyes) in Spain's third group match against Saudi Arabia national football team. Francesc Fabregas earned a starting role in Spain's first knockout-stage match against France national football team, in place of Marcos Senna, but Spain lost 3–1. Fàbregas also became the youngest player in Spanish football history to participate in a FIFA World Cup when Francesc Fabregas came on as a substitute for Luis Javier García Sanz after 77 minutes in the 4–0 victory against Ukraine national football team on 13 June 2006; Francesc Fabregas was then 19 years and 41 days old. Francesc Fabregas was later nominated for the FIFA World Cup awards Best Young Player Award of the World Cup, but Germany national football team's Lukas Podolski won the award.

UEFA Euro 2008

In UEFA Euro 2008, Fàbregas was issued with squad number 10, rather than 18 which Francesc Fabregas had previously held. Despite featuring mostly as a substitute, the midfielder made a considerable impact in Spain's campaign. Francesc Fabregas scored Francesc Fabregas first international goal in that competition in Spain's 4–1 win over Russia national football team and also had an assist in that game. Spain won all three of their group games and met Italy national football team in the quarter-finals. In that match, Fàbregas scored the winning penalty in the Penalty shootout (association football) after the teams remained deadlocked 0–0 after extra time. In the semi-finals, Spain defeated Russia 3–0 with Fàbregas providing two assists. For Francesc Fabregas efforts, Fàbregas was named in the Team of the Tournament, a 23-man squad selected by the UEFA Technical Team. In the semi-finals against the United States men's national soccer team (which Fàbregas started), Spain suffered a shock 2–0 loss, and its 15-game winning streak came to an end.

2010 World Cup

Fàbregas was selected as a part of del Bosque's 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With del Bosque preferring a starting midfield of Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, Fàbregas did not start in any of Spain's games in the competition. Francesc Fabregas featured as a substitute in four of their seven matches, in which Spain lost their opening game before winning the next six en route to 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. In the Final itself, Fàbregas set up the extra-time winner for Iniesta to win Spain the World Cup for the first time in their history.

International goals

Style of play


Originally brought to Arsenal as a youth to slowly develop via the League Cup, Fàbregas was unexpectedly deployed as Arsenal's starting association football positions Centre midfielder (CM) following injuries to fellow midfielders Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva and Eduardo César Gaspar during the 2004–05 season. While Vieira served as Francesc Fabregas role model and mentor, Francesc Fabregas styled Francesc Fabregas game after Francesc Fabregas childhood hero and compatriot Josep Guardiola.

However, it did not take long for Fàbregas to become one of the most coveted and celebrated young talents in the game with Francesc Fabregas success at Arsenal. Functioning mostly as a playmaker and renowned for Francesc Fabregas passing range, Francesc Fabregas was described as the kernel of Arsenal's first team, bringing vision, creativity, and an innate understanding of timing and space to Arsenal's intricate passing game, displaying maturity that belied Francesc Fabregas age. Francesc Fabregas was the main creative force when Francesc Fabregas was at Arsenal, as exemplified by Francesc Fabregas 16 assists in all competitions in the 2006–07 season.

At Arsenal, Fàbregas also often assumed responsibility for Set piece (football), taking corner kick, Direct free kick and Penalty kick. By Francesc Fabregas own admission, scoring was a weaker part of Francesc Fabregas game in Francesc Fabregas first few seasons at Arsenal; wasteful finishing also being symptomatic of the larger problem surrounding Arsenal in the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. There were also concerns raised over the large number of games Fàbregas was playing for club and country at such a young age, but while Francesc Fabregas initially avoided long spells on the sidelines, Francesc Fabregas played significantly fewer games due to injury in Francesc Fabregas last three seasons with Arsenal.


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