Fabregas said a tearful farewell to Chelsea after the FA Cup match with Nottingham Forest as he prepares to set off and join Monaco this January
Pat Nevin believes Cesc Fabregas’ emotional goodbye to Chelsea fans was because he enjoyed so much success with the club.
Fabregas was given a standing ovation by the Blues supporters when he was substituted five minutes before the end in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
He then returned to the pitch after the match to give a lap of honour and broke down in tears in what was his 198th and final appearance for Chelsea, having arrived from Barcelona in 2014.
On his official Instagram account, the departing midfielder confirmed he was excited to be joining Monaco, even if it is uncertain when he will make the move.
Fabregas, 31, began his professional career at Arsenal, making his debut in 2003 and eventually left the club for Barca in 2011.
When he left north London, his sadness was more to do with leaving Arsene Wenger, whom he paid tribute to. “I spoke to him to say goodbye and got very emotional because he has been like a father figure,” he said.
“I couldn’t even talk when I wanted to say how grateful I was for what he has done to me, so I had to send a message afterwards saying thanks for everything. If it was not for him I would not be here today to live my dream. I will never have enough words to say how grateful I am. I went from being a boy to a man and they gave me absolutely everything in football.”
During his time at Stamford Bridge, though, Fabregas won four major trophies compared to his one FA Cup at Arsenal, a point former Chelsea winger Nevin alluded to in his column for Chelsea’s official website.
“Cesc also might have scored more goals for Arsenal and played more games for them than he has Chelsea, but he has been more successful here, which gives a clue to why he was so emotional after the Nottingham Forest game.
“His one Gunners’ FA Cup winners’ medal pales in comparison with his two Premier League titles alongside his FA Cup and League Cup winners’ medals with the Blues.
“The two European Championship medals alongside the World Cup winners’ medal for Spain are pretty impressive too.”
Nevin also used his column to laud the player’s talent.
“For all the baubles, it is the skill and the vision that has stood out above everything else. We could all marvel at his ability to pick up a ball deep in the midfield and play yet another inch-perfect quarterback-style pass on to a striker’s big toe, perfectly in his stride. What was more difficult to see for most fans is how hard that is to do at pitch level. He doesn’t have the overview that most fans have up in the stands; well he does have it but only in his mind.”