Childhood & Early Life
Francesc was born on May 4, 1987, in Arenys de Mar, Spain, to Francesc Fàbregas Sr. and Núria Soler. His father operates a property company while his mother is a pastry company owner. His parents later divorced.
He was passionate about football as a child and a big fan of ‘FC Barcelona.’ His father also played soccer and later became his first coach. His club career started with ‘CE Mataró’ in 1995.
In 1997, at age ten he joined ‘La Masia,’ the youth academy of Barcelona. He later had the opportunity to train with ‘Barcelona’ one day a week and with time, joined the academy of the club full-time. At the beginning, he undertook training as defensive midfielder, and played with the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué.
He excelled in youth teams of Barcelona and scored over 30 goals in a season. However, he never played a first team game at home stadium of FC Barcelona, Camp Nou.
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On September 11, 2003, he signed a contract with Premier League club ‘Arsenal’ and joined its youth system, ‘Arsenal Football Club Academy.’ He made his debut for ‘Arsenal’ on October 28, 2003 in a League Cup tie against ‘Rotherham United.’ With this, he became the youngest first team player of the club in its history.
Thereafter, he created another record of becoming the youngest ever goal scorer for ‘Arsenal’ in a match against ‘Wolverhampton Wanderers’ during a League Cup round when ‘Arsenal’ clinched a 5-1 victory.
He managed to make his first team appearances starting from the 2004–05 season. He set another record of becoming the youngest-ever goal scorer for the club in a league game by scoring a goal against ‘Blackburn Rovers’ in a 3–0 victory. Taking his career further with ‘Arsenal,’ he signed his first professional contract with the club in September 2004.
He became the second-youngest goal scorer in the history of the ‘UEFA Champions League’ when he scored the third goal for ‘Arsenal’ in its 5-1 victory over ‘Rosenborg’ during the 2004–05 ‘UEFA Champions League.’
His first title with the club came when ‘Arsenal’ won the ‘FA Cup’ through a penalty shoot-out against ‘Manchester United’ on May 21, 2005, at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
On October 19, 2006, he signed a fresh five-year contract with the club with an option of a further three-year extension. Eventually, he emerged as a key player for the club and made appearance in every single league game.
For the 2006–07 season, he was named in the 2006 ‘UEFA Team of the Year’ and named ‘Premier League Player of the Month’ in January 2007, a feat he again earned in September 2007. He was also declared ‘Arsenal Player of the Season’ in June 2007.
His successful career with ‘Arsenal’ continued in the following season when he garnered many individual honours. These included ‘PFA Young Player of the Year,’ getting named in the ‘PFA Team of the Year’ and ‘Arsenal Player of the Season.’
On May 19, 2008, he appeared in sketches along with his parents, comedian Matt Lucas, and some Arsenal teammates and coach Arsène Wenger in his one-time only TV programme ‘The Cesc Fàbregas Show: Nike Live.’ He was declared the captain of ‘Arsenal’ on November 24, that year. He succeeded William Gallas.
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He was again named in the ‘PFA Premier League Team of the Year’ in the 2009–10 season.
Following a lengthy transfer deliberation, Fàbregas signed with ‘Barcelona’ on August 15, 2011 in a deal worth £35 million. According to the terms of the agreement, he was required to pay a sum of €1 million per year (for five years) from his wage to ‘Arsenal.’
His made his ‘Barcelona’ debut happened against ‘Real Madrid’ during ‘Supercopa de España’s’ second leg and he scored his first goal for the club against ‘Porto’ when Barcelona clinched the 2011 ‘UEFA Super Cup’ with a 2-0 victory. His league debut with the club against ‘Villarreal’ marked his first league goal.
He signed a sponsorship deal with Puma in 2011 and featured in many of its ads. The German brand launched a C4 evoPower boot, especially for Fàbregas in January 2014.
Other feats he achieved with Barcelona in 2011–12 season include winning the 2011 ‘Supercopa de España,’ the 2011–12 ‘Copa del Rey’ and the 2011 ‘FIFA Club World Cup.’ He also earned four best midfielder awards.
The first hat-trick of his career came with the club during the 2012–13 season when ‘Barcelona’ won 5-0 against ‘Mallorca’ on April 6, 2013. He won the first league title of his career, a La Liga win, with the club in that season.
He won his second ‘Supercopa de España’ with the club during the 2013–14 season.
He then signed a five-year contract with Premier League club ‘Chelsea’ on June 12, 2014. His competitive debut with the club happened on August 18, 2014, while he netted the first goal for it against ‘Schalke 04’ on September 17. Chelsea’s 2–1 victory over ‘Crystal Palace’ on October 18 of the same year was aided by his first league goal for the club.
His achievements with Chelsea so far include winning the ‘Premier League’ during the 2014–15 and the 2016–17 seasons; and ‘Football League Cup’ in 2014–15.
He began his international career in 2002 with Spain's national under-16 football team. Moving forward, he earned ‘Golden Ball’ and ‘Golden Shoe’ in the ‘FIFA U-17 World Championship’ in 2003 and the ‘Golden Player’ award in the ‘UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship’ in 2004. Spain finished runners-up in both these tournaments.
After making his senior international debut, Fàbregas scored his first international goal against Russia during a ‘UEFA Euro’ 2008 match in which Spain won by 4-1. His international feats representing Spain include winning the ‘UEFA European Championship’ in 2008 and 2012 and the ‘FIFA World Cup’ in 2010.