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Cesc Fàbregas returns the Mourinho love ahead of his 100th cap for Spain

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas is set to reach one-hundred appearances for the Spanish national team in the next two matches against Luxembourg and Ukraine. It is a huge accomplishment for the player, and one he's certainly proud of.

"I would be very thrilled to reach this mark, and hopefully I will. I hope it comes sooner rather than later."

"[...] 100 appearances for Spain in 10 years since my début is a lot. I am very grateful for this, from my part and from my coaches."

"From this generation many will make 100 appearances for Spain. [Santi] Cazorla, [Sergio] Busquets, [David] Silva... I won't be only one reaching 100 appearances."

Fabregas has experienced just about every success a football player could ever experience, but unfortunately, things haven't been so good at club level recently. Still, Cesc has plenty of love and praise for manager José Mourinho, claiming he's very different in person than the image he projects in front of the media.  Not the most original claim, but one well worth repeating.

"We [at Chelsea] are not doing well."

"Chelsea have the best manager and we must overcome this situation. [José] Mourinho is the best manager we could have and the best in Chelsea's history. He treated me very well in a delicate moment of my career and he's someone who personally has helped me a lot."

"Mourinho's image is different in person compared to what you see from the media. I know this because I have seen it."

Former Mourinho-zealot Deco recently talked about Mourinho's love for Fabregas; clearly, that's not just a one-way relationship.  While that's great and all, it would be even better if Cesc decided to replicate last season's performances.

Given those bad performances and our bad results, it's not surprising that some harsh words have been said both publicly and in the Chelsea dressing room.  So far, this has only sparked stories of dressing room strife, but Fàbregas sees nothing wrong this approach and is not concerned by the negative effect it might have.

"In Spain, the manager criticizes the star players and they take it personally. In England it's different: this doesn't happen."

-Cesc Fàbregas; Source: Marca

Our old pal Rafa Benitez called out a couple of his players publicly after the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid, but rather than getting the response we've seen from the Chelsea players, he instead got some flak back from Sergio Ramos, who derided The Interim One for his substitutions and conservative tactics.  Happy days over Real Madrid already, it seems.

Mourinho might have all sorts of issues to deal with, many of his own making, but at least his players aren't sniping back at him through the media.  By all accounts, he's retained the full support of the squad, the club, the board, and the owner.  The conditions for a turnaround are about as good as they're going to get.

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