- Full name Francesc Fabregas
- Birth date May 4, 1987
- Birth place Vilessoc de Mar, Spain
- Current age 26 years 215 days
- Height 5 ft 9 in
Along with Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, Fabregas emerged from the Barcelona cantera but it was under the guidance of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal that he became one of world football's most sought-after players. Following a fevered pursuit, Barcelona finally managed to prise Fabregas away from the Gunners in summer 2011.
Unlike the aforementioned Messi, Fabregas left hometown club Barcelona at the age of just 16 when joining Arsenal in 2003 and it was a gamble that quickly paid off. After the club had gone unbeaten in 2003-04, Wenger could ignore the talent of Fabregas no longer and his stunning emergence the following season even convinced his manager to sell captain Patrick Vieira, such was his faith in the Spaniard who took the famous number four shirt.
An FA Cup final victory in 2005 aside, Fabregas was starved of silverware in North London - but he will go down as one of Wenger's shrewdest signings. The 2007-08 Young Player of the Year, Fabregas was installed as Arsenal captain in November 2008 and has thrived in Arsenal's free-flowing formation as its creative lynchpin.
Fabregas enjoyed probably his best season for Arsenal in 2009-10 as, operating in a more advanced role, he scored 19 goals in all competitions. He produced the assist for Andres Iniesta's winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final on his way to becoming a world and two-time European champion with Spain.
Strengths: A quite superb passer of the ball who possesses both excellent vision and the ability to dictate the pace and tempo of a contest. Has a strong character and mentality to complement his technical excellence and has become more potent in front of goal.
Weaknesses: Fabregas is largely impeccable but a lack of real pace is noticeable.
Career high: Poking the ball through for Andres Iniesta to score the winning goal in the World Cup final in 2010.
Career low: Defeat to Barcelona in the final of the 2006 Champions League.
Style: Composed, cultured, creative, a wonderful passer.
Quotes: "His vision is comparable to [Michel] Platini, and that is a compliment. He is at the start of his career and we know that Platini has finished his. Cesc has it all in front of him, but he has a vision and he will develop still more." Arsene Wenger, September 2007.
Trivia: Fabregas became Arsenal's youngest player in any competition on October 28, 2003 when appearing in a League Cup tie against Rotherham aged just 16 years and 177 days.
- Fabregas cancels the flight of fantasy (Aug 8, 2013)
- Barcelona vice-president: Fabregas will stay (Aug 4, 2013)
- Irwin: Ronaldo could return to United (Aug 4, 2013)
- Barcelona: Only Fabregas can decide his future (Aug 3, 2013)
United preparing third bid for Fabregas (Jul 31, 2013)