Tomorrow night it will be a special one for Cesc Fabregas, who will face Barcelona, the side he grew up in, his childhood team, the one who gave him another chance signing him back from Arsenal before letting him move to Chelsea in summer 2014.
The Spanish midfielder shared his feelings and thoughts about this special game for him:
“It’s a big game for everyone I think, for the whole club, and I think for English football,” Fabregas explained to Chelsea website.
“It’s always great to welcome these fantastic teams in European football. It’s a massive night for the players, for the club and for English football in general. Hopefully we can do well and give a good image of what we can do and give a good performance.”
The Spain international also reveals he will not have any problems putting his emotions to one side as he and Chelsea attempt to knock his former club out of European competition:
“Of course, it’s my hometown, it’s the club I supported for all my life, but once you step on the pitch it just goes away. I did it before with Arsenal. I don’t try, it just happens naturally. You want to do well for your club and that’s it.
“I have big friends, friends that I played with since I was 13 years old. I speak to some of them nearly every day, even when I don’t play against them, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about football. Probably now the contact is a bit less, probably unconsciously because of the game coming up.
“We are old friends but when we are on the pitch they will try to beat me and I will try to beat them. For me, friendship is a fantastic thing but in football, when you play against each other, it clearly changes.
“I think they’re still a great side. You can see with Ernesto Valverde they play a different type of formation, especially when they defend they play more of a 4-4-2. You can see that everyone is committed, everyone is giving their all, defensively and offensively,’ said the 30-year-old, who has also identified one aspect of the game which could prove decisive.
“They are a team that try to put the first pressure very, very high, always working to have the ball, so if we can pass this first phase of their pressure, if we have the cool head to do that and not put ourselves under too much pressure, I think we can hurt them, because they will leave a lot of spaces at the back. We have days now to work on the game and I’m sure the manager will find the best solution.”