Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Fabregas in tribute to Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas insists he leaves Arsenal on good terms after finally securing his dream return to Barcelona.

The 24-year-old Catalan midfielder finally returned to Barca on Monday eight years after leaving to sign for Arsenal as a teenager in 2003. The reigning European champions have splashed out £25.5million up front to recapture their former youth product, who has signed a five-year contract, in a deal which could eventually earn Arsenal £35million.

Fabregas pushed for the move for some time but believes his relationship with the Gunners remains good and he praised Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, saying: "I'll never have enough words to thank him for all he's done for me. I'll never forget him. I can't express my admiration for him strongly enough, I owe it to him that I am here."

He added: "I don't think he has such a good image here, he has been portrayed as something he's not, in my opinion. If today I am here with you then it's greatly due to him.

"The relationship is fantastic. On Friday I said goodbye to him and I got very emotional because he's like a father figure to me.

"I think if Arsenal want to keep being the club they are then they have to always be under his control, because he's the best, everyone respects him, and for me, he will always be the best person that I've met in football."

Fabregas had been keen to return to the Nou Camp for some time and after finally having his wish granted, paid tribute to the club where he "went from a boy to a man" but won only one major honour, the 2005 FA Cup.

"No player is bigger than a club and I was no bigger than Arsenal," said the former Gunners captain, who was given the armband in 2008. "I was just a servant and spent eight years there when I gave absolutely everything.

"It didn't show in the cabinet, I only won one FA Cup really, and this is the biggest regret I will have in my career, probably, not to be able to lift a trophy as Arsenal captain.

"I will always be an Arsenal fan because what they have done for me is unbelievable and I will never forget it."

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