Arsène Wenger

Why Fabregas is such a special player, and why I had to let him go

Arsene Wenger

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First of all, Cesc Fabregas is a huge personality. Secondly, he is an extremely intelligent player. And I’d also say that he is a sweet person, but, on the field, he sees everything before anyone.

The greatest strength of Fabregas is his vision. He sees. The players who see are the ones making your team win and he sees before the others. It’s a telescopic head on a football field.

I think it would be interesting to film his head during a match once. He is always looking around him to see what’s going on. When he gets the ball, he has already seen everything that was going on around.

He has a geographical map of the field in his head, from the first to the last minute of the match. And he is a killer, because he always makes a killing pass. One day, you will ask Messi which player is the most likely to give him a decisive pass. He’ll answer Fabregas.

Fabregas said he was very sad when he left Arsenal, and he is not the only one! I fought with him to keep him but, deep down, I obviously knew. He was raised in Barcelona; his grandfather worked for Barca; he went to all the FCB football classes; they had the best team in the world.

I surrendered to his will of playing for them, and I think it was completely logical.

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We had a respectful relationship. And, for me, admiration too. He left Barcelona at 16 and came here with his mother. He said, 'Barcelona won’t trust me, and I’m coming here because I know that you will trust me.'

The personality he showed back then, sometimes I wonder where he found it. This strength to leave such a club to come and play for us. I have a huge respect for that.

With Spain he sometimes plays as a forward. It’s not his usual position. Why? Because speed and physical presence are not his strengths. For me, he is one of the best symbols of Spain’s modern football. And I’m glad they delivered this message. I have a limitless admiration for the Spanish team.

First, they were very humble. To win the Euro, then the World Cup and the Euro again, they needed exceptional humility. Then they showed to the entire world that the intelligence and technique is as efficient as physical football. I will forever be grateful to them for that.

Fabregas playing as a forward is one of the best examples. It’s not his usual position, but they have so much ball possession that, at one point, they will always find an opening, even if they don’t have a physical beast as a forward.

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