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Thursday, June 30, 2011

He Used To Be My Hero



His Arsenal Debut
Around the time, I was in Year 8, the diminutive figure that was Cesc Fabregas stood out in the middle of the park for Arsenal. Bred at the famed La Masia academy alongside the likes of Lionel Messi an d Gerard Pique, he was blessed with vision that could only be matched by the legendary Paul Scholes. He was fresh. Nothing we we had ever seen or experienced. He was just 17 but stood out amongst some of his older colleagues.


The next season, he was to have more burden thrust upon his shoulders. Patrick Vieira, a midfield dynamo and Arsenal Captain had just made his departure for Juventus. Fabregas was given his No 4 jersey making him his direct replacement. He had only played one full season and he was being given such responsibility. He could have buckled under the pressure. No, he didn't. He flourished. Became a man and Arsenal's lynchpin. The man whom the team would grow to be built around. The crowning glory was to take place in the 2005/2006 Champions League Quarter Finals against Juventus when Robert Pires robbed Vieira of the ball and laid it on to Thierry Henry who subsequently set Fabregas to score.
Celebrates the Milan goal

I've got other pleasurable memories, the performance against AC Milan in the victory that made Arsenal the first British team to win at the San Siro. The goal against Spurs from the kick off at the Emirates the season before last was also a high point. His performance against Chelsea and Braga last season also stood out. It say a lot about his greatness that at the young age of 24, he's the 3rd highest on the Premier League Assists leaderboard of all time with 80 assists.

As Mr Fabregas's long mooted move to  his hometown club, Barcelona gathers pace, I mourn the loss of someone who used to be  my hero. I'll miss him but I wish him happiness and prosperity as he embarks on the quest to write his own bit of History with arguably the greatest football team of all time.

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