Fabregas: Arsenal is in my heart
Published 25/10/2013 | 07:51
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has stressed his love for former club Arsenal and indicated he would consider a future role at the Emirates Stadium - if not during his playing career then after.
The 26-year-old arrived in north London as a teenager in 2003 and spent eight years with the Gunners, before returning to Catalonia and his boyhood club two years ago for an initial £25.5million after a protracted transfer saga.
Fabregas paid an emotional tribute to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after completing his return home in 2011 and admitted at the time that his failure to lift a trophy as Arsenal captain will always be his "biggest regret".
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, he said: "Arsenal is in my heart and always will be. I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day, or maybe after football.
"It's a club that is always going to be there and will always open its doors to me. The club's like a family so, even if it wasn't as a coach, I'm sure they'd give me the chance to play a role.
"Sol (Campbell) is there now. Arsenal help a lot with the formation of coaches. (Dennis) Bergkamp also went there two, three times a week when he was doing his coaching badges. In that sense it's a lovely club and there might be the chance to do something with them."
Arsenal sit top of the Barclays Premier League after eight games, and Fabregas believes this may well be the season Wenger's men end a trophy drought which stretches back to 2005 - although he predicts the festive fixtures will be key.
"I really hope so," he said. "They've started very well. They look very strong; let's see how they last.
"In the Premier League you can be going well and then you lose two games and you slip away quickly. It's very sudden.
"A lot gets decided over Christmas: the team that hangs in there best, that can resist the best, will take the title."
Arsenal manager Wenger accepted Fabregas was a "special case" when it came to the decision to leave.
"Some players were impatient when they get into the 30s, they feel they cannot win the Premier League and they want to go somewhere where they can win it," said Wenger at a press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League game at Crystal Palace.
"Cesc was a special case because he left Barcelona at the age of 16, he's a Barcelona boy and they had the best team in the world. It was different for him."
Wenger added: "Cesc is usually a good judge and that he will come back one day shows that he has kept good memories of this club.
"I am very happy that the players who have his intelligence, his technical ability and knowledge of the game come back one day - I watch them from somewhere up there!"