- 5'8" (1.75m)
- 150 lbs (68 kg)
- May 4, 1987
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. Barcelona, and his former colleagues, mounted a relentless campaign to convince him to return to Camp Nou -- and in August 2011 that pursuit came to fruition. After three years in his native Catalonia, however, he decided to return to England -- this time with Chelsea, ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
Fabregas left hometown club Barcelona at the age of just 16 when joining Arsenal in 2003 and it was a move 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 Frenchman's famous number four shirt.
An FA Cup final victory in 2005 aside, Fabregas may have been starved of silverware in North London but is regarded as one of the club's modern-day greats and accumulated 303 appearances. The 2007-08 PFA Young Player of the Year, Fabregas was installed as Arsenal captain in November 2008 and thrived in Arsenal's free-flowing formation as its creative lynchpin.
Fabregas also hit a rich seam of form in the 2009-10 season when operating in a more advanced role, scoring 19 goals in all competitions. He produced the assist for Andres Iniesta's winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final to become a world and European champion with Spain.
But his love affair with Arsenal came to an end when the Gunners could no longer resist Barcelona's persistence, a three-year campaign to bring home one of their own. Fabregas' exit left a bitter taste in the mouth of some fans, who believed the player had made it impossible for Arsenal to keep him -- and that Barca had effectively got him on the cheap for an initial fee of around 29 million euros.
With a spring in his step, Fabregas began his Barcelona career by becoming the first player in the club's history to score in each of his first four La Liga games. He won the 2012-13 La Liga title and a Copa del Rey trophy but something didn't feel right as he struggled to make his mark. Eventually, his desire return to England saw him join Chelsea, after Arsenal turned down the chance to re-sign him.
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: If anything, Fabregas has a lack of real pace, while his injury record is far from perfect.
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 with Arsenal.
Style: Composed, cultured, creative, a wonderful passer.
Quotes: "I do feel that I have unfinished business in the Premier League and now is the right time to return. I considered all the other offers very carefully and I firmly believe that Chelsea is the best choice. They match my footballing ambitions with their hunger and desire to win trophies." Cesc Fabregas on joining Chelsea in 2014.
Trivia: Fabregas became Arsenal's youngest ever player in any competition on October 28, 2003 when appearing in a League Cup tie against Rotherham aged just 16 years and 177 days.