Cesc Fabregas is a figure that divides opinion amongst Arsenal fans, especially since his move away in 2011, and the controversial move to Chelsea in 2014. The midfielder now plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and is coming towards the end of his long and successful career.
There is no doubting Fabregas’ ability and the talent that he brought to Arsenal, enough to earn him the club captaincy. The Spaniard brought moments of magic to the Gunners’ faithful and will be remembered fondly in Arsenal history.
The San Siro Masterclass, 2008
Arguably Fabregas’s best performance for Arsenal came in the Champions League and played the holders of the European Cup AC Milan.
The young Spanish midfielder pulled the strings, and dominated in every area of the pitch, unlike any Arsenal midfielder for many years, prime Patrick Vieira comes to mind.
Fabregas' powerful low shot drove Arsenal to the first victory by an English team at the San Siro. This was the night Fabregas joined the list of the elite players of world football and boosted his footballing profile.
His performance that night in Milan was the perfect combination of his natural talent along with his training and development under the expert guidance of manager Arsene Wenger.
Britannia Stadium. Stoke. February 2010.
A game that will go down in Arsenal history due to a horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey, but it was the leadership that Fabregas displayed which that summed him up as a captain.
Stoke was always a tricky fixture for Arsenal, and the Gunners arrived at the stadium to a hostile atmosphere and went behind early to a tall and strong Stoke side and the Gunners’ struggled to compete with the physicality of the hosts.
Fabregas took the responsibilities extremely seriously and upon himself to get a result for his side. He marshalled the midfield and led the Arsenal attack to take the momentum from their opponents.
Fabregas got the assist for a Nicklas Bendtner equaliser, and pushed forward in the second half, forcing his midfielders to do the same. Following the injury to Ramsey, the Arsenal team was broken, and it was up to captain Cesc to rejuvenate his team and pull them to victory. He scored a crucial penalty late in the game to give Arsenal the lead, and got his second assist of the game, pulling the ball back for Thomas Vermaelen, who poked home the third and final goal of the game.
His inspired performance was one of the best and pivotal for Arsenal and under difficult circumstances.
Destroying Blackburn. October 2009
Four assists in one game is almost never heard of but is a feat that Cesc accomplished at the Emirates in October 2009.
Fabregas departed the pitch after 76 minutes with his team-leading 5-2, and eventually finished 6-2 to the Gunners.
First half assists for Thomas Vermaelen, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin were topped off by a second-half goal of his own that catapulted Arsenal into a great lead. Theo Walcott rounded off Fabregas’s four assists for the game before the Spanish captain was substituted and he equalled the record of four assists in one game.