Friday, December 23, 2011

Cesc Fàbregas

Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas i Soler ( born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central midfielder for La Liga club FC Barcelona.

Fàbregas started his career as a trainee with Barcelona but was signed by Premier League side Arsenal in September 2003 at the age of 16. Following injuries to key midfielders in the 2004–05 season, he went on to establish himself as Arsenal's starting central midfielder, playmaker, and captain. He broke several of the club's records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best young players for his position. In 2011, he returned to Barcelona for an initial fee of £29m (€34m) with a further £4m (€5m) in variables.

In international football, the Spaniard's national career began when he represented the Under-17 side at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland. As a result of his club performances, he was called up to the senior squad in 2006. He has played in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup, helping Spain to become eventual winners in the two most recent tournaments.

Early years
Fàbregas was born in Arenys de Mar, Barcelona, Catalonia to Francesc Fàbregas, Sr., who runs a property company, and Núria Soler, the owner of a pastry company. Fàbregas has supported FC Barcelona since childhood and went to his first match when he was nine months old with his grandfather. He began his club football career with CE Mataró, before being signed for Barcelona's La Masia youth academy aged 10 in 1997. His first coach, Señor Blai, reportedly did not select Fabregas for matches against Barcelona in an attempt to hide him from their scouts. This tactic, however, was unable to withstand Barcelona for long, and Mataró gave in and allowed Fàbregas to train with Barcelona one day per week. Eventually Fàbregas joined Barcelona's academy full time. His initial training was as a defensive midfielder playing alongside notable names such as Gerard Piqué and Lionel Messi. Although he was a prolific scorer, sometimes scoring even more than 30 goals in a season for the club's youth teams, he did not manage to play a first team game at the Camp Nou. During his time at Barcelona's youth academy, Fàbregas idolised Barcelona's then-captain and number four Josep Guardiola, who would later give Fàbregas his shirt as consolation when Fàbregas' parents divorced.

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