CESC FABREGAS dedicated his World Cup triumph to Arsenal — but his future with the north London giants remains shrouded in mystery.
Throughout his time in South Africa, speculation has persisted over Fabregas’ intentions, with Barcelona hovering in the background waiting to make a bid. Yet Fabregas has been more concerned with finding his form after breaking his shin on club duty in March.
Prior to yesterday, he had featured for only 90 minutes in the entire five-week competition.
Finally though, Fabregas’ killer touch returned at Soccer City, allowing him to set up Andres Iniesta’s late extra-time winner that crowned Spain world champions for the first time.
It was fitting Arsene Wenger should be in the stands to watch. For, after joining Arsenal when he was just 16, Fabregas knows his development into a world-class midfielder is largely thanks to the Frenchman.
“This is for the Arsenal players, the Arsenal fans, for the manager and all his staff,” said Fabregas.
“I have had lots of texts and Blackberry messages. My phone is full. I had a text message of congratulations from Arsene Wenger. He said I deserve it. I just think this is for everyone at Arsenal who helped me get to where I am now.
“I am really proud to have been an Arsenal player.”
It is the last comment that will be seized upon by those who do not believe Fabregas has a future at the Emirates Stadium
As welded as he is to Arsenal and Wenger, Fabregas is known to be frustrated at the lack of progress that has been made in five trophyless years.
He has just spent the last five weeks sharing a dressing room with Gerard Pique, who has now won both the Champions League and the World Cup since quitting Manchester United and returned to the club he first joined as a junior.
With the Gunners starting pre-season training yesterday, Wenger will be looking for some clarity, even though Fabregas will now embark on a short holiday, probably accompanied by the medal he always felt was destined to come his way.
“I don’t think I will ever take it off,” he said.
“It was a difficult tournament for me because I didn’t play a lot but something inside me kept saying I would get my chance. My family came to support me at the final because they believed it too and thankfully, it went brilliantly.”
Yet even in his elation at Spain’s first World Cup triumph, Fabregas was aware enough to feel sympathy for a Gunners team-mate, who endured similar injury woe but finished up on the losing side.
As Spain celebrated, Holland seethed at Howard Webb and cried at the pain they were enduring.
Among their number was Robin van Persie.
“The first thing I did was go to Robin,” said Fabregas. “I had to go to there instead of celebrating with my friends because he deserved it as well.
“He was injured for a long time and if it wasn’t us that he was playing against I would be on his side.
“Even though I was really happy, I was sad for him.
“I really hope he has his chance again in two or four years.
“He is a great guy and a great leader.”
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