Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
The 27-year-old has joined on a five-year contract and will wear the no. 4 shirt.
He said: ‘Firstly I would like to thank everyone at FC Barcelona where I enjoyed three wonderful years. It was my childhood club and I will always be proud and honoured that I had a chance to play for such a great team.
‘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. They have an amazing squad of players and an incredible manager. I am fully committed to this team and I can’t wait to start playing.’
A versatile, technically gifted midfielder, Fabregas has acquired a wealth of experience from playing in two of the strongest leagues in Europe and representing the most successful Spain international side of all time.
Comfortable operating as an attacking midfielder, he can also perform in a deeper role, and on the international stage he has been used in wide areas, as a second striker or, on occasions, as a ‘false no.9’.
Fabregas arrives at Stamford Bridge following a three-year spell at Barcelona during which he helped the Catalan club win the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
He is no stranger to the Premier League having enjoyed an eight-year spell with Arsenal prior to moving to Camp Nou.
His time in north London was an important period in his development, during which he made the transition from being a young, inexperienced player to arguably the most important member of Arsenal’s squad.
However, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe chasing his signature, his departure from the Emirates was almost inevitable, and so it proved when he returned to the club that had nurtured him.
Born near Barcelona, Fabregas joined the Barça academy at the age of 10 but having flourished in their youth sides, he left his boyhood club and moved to Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16.
With his first season in England one of adaptation, he began to make his mark during the following campaign, and at the end of the season he started the FA Cup final as Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties in Cardiff.
Patrick Vieira’s departure to Juventus afforded Fabregas the opportunity to establish himself as a regular in midfield and he grabbed it with both hands, shining en route to the Champions League final in 2006 where Arsenal were beaten by Barcelona.
At the end of the 2006/07 season he was nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards as well as being named in the 2006 UEFA Team of the Year.
Aged 20, he was again nominated for both PFA awards at the end of the following campaign, winning the Young Player of the Year prize, as well as being named in the Premier League Team of the Season.
In 2008 Fabregas took on the Arsenal captaincy and, buoyed by the responsibility, added goals to his game on a consistent basis before moving back to Barcelona in the summer of 2011.
After making his debut in the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid, he scored his first goal for the Barça first team in a UEFA Super Cup victory against Porto, before netting on his La Liga debut, a 5-0 win over Villarreal. He later scored six goals in a four-game period, including one in a 3-1 victory away at Real Madrid, as well as finding the target in the FIFA World Club Cup final, a 4-0 win over Santos.
Fabregas featured in both legs of the 2012 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, when the Blues came out on top to secure a place in the Munich final, and he scored his first Barcelona hat-trick the following season against Mallorca, Barça finishing that campaign as champions of La Liga. There was little doubt Fabregas had played a pivotal part in their success with 11 goals to his name.
His third and final season at Barcelona promised much for long spells but ultimately Gerardo Martino’s side ended the season with the Spanish Super Cup to their name.
Fabregas started both legs of the Champions League quarter-final as Barcelona were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid, and played an hour of the Copa del Rey final, a 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid. He also started the La Liga title decider against Atletico before being replaced by Xavi with 13 minutes left to play, his final appearance for the club.
At international level, Fabregas has represented Spain at every major tournament since the 2006 World Cup when he was just 19, winning three trophies along the way.
After an impressive Euro 2008, in which he scored a decisive penalty against Italy in the quarter-finals, it was he who supplied the pass from which Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final.
At Euro 2012, another triumphant campaign for Spain, he scored the winning penalty in a semi-final shoot-out against Portugal as well as starting the final, a 4-0 win against Italy.
He is in the squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and you can monitor his progress here on the official Chelsea website.