Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal skipper Fabregas has no plans to switch to Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas maintains he will have nothing else on his mind when he leads Arsenal out at the Nou Camp tonight other than making it through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Spain World Cup winner returns to the team he left as a teenager for the first time in a competitive club fixture following last summer’s transfer speculation over a £30million move.

However, Fabregas, 23, insists after battling back to fitness from a hamstring injury to play tonight, delivering a performance for the Gunners is his only focus.

“I am not here to shut up comments or to beat anyone specifically or whatever. I am just here to win for Arsenal Football Club,” said Fabregas last night.

“Sometimes I don't understand these reactions or comments about people saying I want this or I feel this. I want to win for Arsenal and that's it. That's easy for me.

“I don't put anything extra in my head because I play against Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

“It is a special game for everyone because it is a special stadium and we play against a good team and that's it. Its one more game that we want to win.

“We want to do well for the club and we want to get through to the next stage of the Champions League. There is nothing more to it than that — we just want to go through and get to the quarter-final.”

Fabregas missed last season's Champions League quarter-final encounter at the Nou Camp after suffering a broken leg in the first tie in London.

The Gunners skipper knows full well his side, boosted by the return of leading scorer Robin van Persie, cannot allow Lionel Messi to run riot again, the Argentinian having netted all four goals in a masterclass last April.

“We know that you cannot give space to Messi because he scored four goals,” admitted Fabregas.

“For the rest, we showed what we have to do in the first leg a couple of weeks ago and we played some good football.

“We have to play our game as well — we cannot always be focused on thinking what are they going to do or just defending. We are Arsenal and we have to make ourselves respected as well. That is very important.

“We have to be intelligent and mature enough to solve the problems they may cause, then also be ourselves and play our game.”

Belfast Telegraph

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