Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 June 2017

Goodbye Arsenal, hello Barca

Barcelona return: Cesc Fabregas. Photo: Getty Images
Barcelona return: Cesc Fabregas. Photo: Getty Images

Simon Talbot

Saying goodbye was so hard for former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas that in the end he had to send Arsene Wenger a message telling him everything that he had been unable to say face to face without crying.

The 24-year-old Spaniard completed his return to Barcelona yesterday before admitting: "I've waited a long time for this moment."

Fabregas was unveiled by the European champions at the Nou Camp after passing his medical and signing a five-year contract that includes a buy-out clause of €200m.

The transfer, which could end up earning Arsenal €39m, brings to an end one of the longest-running sagas in football, with Barca having spent several years chasing a player who left them for the Gunners as a 16-year-old.

"I've waited a long time for this moment. It's a very special day. I'm returning home after eight years," said Fabregas. "It's the biggest challenge of my life. But I'm not afraid, just the reverse. I will fight until the last drop of sweat."

And yet there were, he said, "mixed emotions" as he departed. Fabregas said goodbye to Wenger on Friday.

"I spoke to him on Friday to say goodbye and got very emotional," Fabregas said. "I couldn't even talk when I wanted to say how grateful I was for what he has done for me, so I had to send a message afterwards saying thank you." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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