Since the early years of his footballing career, Cesc Fàbregas has had the honour of sharing international duty at the Spanish national team with Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta. They are both among the top 10 of Spain’s most capped players — Iniesta at 5th with 123, Cesc at 8th at 110 — and were also directly involved in the goal that won their home country their biggest trophy, the 2010 World Cup title — Iniesta with the goal, and Cesc with what he does best: assisting!
Obviously Cesc knows the legendary Barça player very well, who, even at his advancing age of 33, remains one of their key players — that’s especially the case in the Champions League, where new signing Philippe Coutinho is ineligible to play. Iniesta, a bit like Fàbregas himself, was never known for his physical prowess and his mental acuity has only improved with age.
“He’s still good; for this type of player age doesn’t really matter. Once you have a talent, once you have the class that he and so many other ‘big’ players have, they can play until their late 30s.”
”Physically, it’s important, obviously because the game nowadays depends a lot on that. But when you have the quality, when you have the intelligence, it can sometimes compensate.”
Fàbregas himself is getting up there in age as well; in fact, he’s only a couple years Iniesta’s junior. As such, he considers the much older-looking man (it must be the hair) more of a friend than an idol.
“[If he is an idol to me?] You’re making him very old! He’s only three years older than me. We played with the Spain under-21s together. We’ve played together from when I was 18 years old.”
“I never saw him as an ‘idol’ because we always played together. I saw him as a teammate. A person obviously that I admire, but in a different way from an idol I looked up to when I was young.”
”I used to look up to Guardiola, because he was playing in my position; I used to love Luis Figo when he was at Barcelona. These two were probably the ones I looked up to most when I was little. But this generation of Spanish players, and not only Spanish players, in Barcelona has been fantastic.’’
-Cesc Fàbregas; Source: ESPN
Cesc isn’t Chelsea’s only ex-Barcelona star, and alongside Pedro, he recently spoke with the Catalan club’s in-house video team about remaining friends with plenty of their former teammates ... while drinking ... tea? Is this because they drink lots of tea in England?
Apparently this “fascinating” video is a very real video created by a very real video production team, and not just some fan trolling all of us. Bottoms up!
In any case, friendships will be put to the side once the referee’s whistle blows on Tuesday (and in the second leg a couple weeks latest).
“I speak to some of them nearly every day. Probably now, we speak less — maybe because of the game.”
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Mail
For Pedro this will be a new sensation, but Fàbregas is quite familiar with the feeling, having faced Barcelona in a Champions League final in 2006 already, as well as in the quarterfinals in 2010 and the Round of 16 a year later. Arsenal ended up on the losing end all three times; hopefully the same fate won’t befall Chelsea this time.
“[Will I be emotional on Wednesday?] It depends how you see it. Of course it’s my home town, it’s the club I supported for all my life. So in that way, yes. But once you step into the pitch, that just goes away. I did it with Arsenal.”
”It’s not something I try, it just happens naturally. You want to do well for your club and that’s it.’’
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: ESPN