Fabregas: I'd 'stagnated' at Arsenal so had to leave
Saturday 20 August 2011
Cesc Fabregas knows he has a fight on his hands for first-team opportunities at Barcelona but insists he had to leave Arsenal because he had "stagnated".
The midfielder returned to Barça this week to conclude one of the most protracted transfer sagas in the world. The Catalans paid an initial €29m (£25.2m) to sign their youth-team product after he made it clear he wanted to return to the Nou Camp. Fabregas has since spoken of his delight at completing the move but admits he faces the biggest challenge of his career now.
"The easiest thing would have been to stay at Arsenal," he told Barça TV. "I'm the captain, playing every game. We are always in the Champions League, always fighting for titles.
"For all that, and the tough competition here, perhaps now might be the worst time to return to Barça. It's going to be really tough to make the starting XI, but I needed a new challenge in my life. I thought I'd stagnated a bit, and needed a change of scenery. I needed a special motivation to bring the best out of myself."
Fabregas will fight for a midfield place with Xavi and Andres Iniesta, as well as youngster Thiago Alcantara. His signing is viewed as a long-term acquisition with a view to him taking over from Xavi in the future but Fabregas played down the suggestion.
"I don't know," he insisted. "I think that Xavi still has some years left in him. He does things you wouldn't believe. I haven't come to retire Xavi. I came here to play with Xavi, to compete with Xavi, and to win with Xavi."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Tim Wiese offered WWE role after German goalkeeper packs on muscle
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
Daley Blind: honesty of Louis van Gaal can be frightening, but I like it
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
- 5 QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly