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Fabregas claims Iniesta treatment convinced him to quit Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas (right) celebrates with team-mates

Bengaluru, November 6: Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has claimed that his decision to leave Barcelona at an early stage was influenced by Iniesta's career path.

Fabregas joined the famous La Masia academy as a 10 years old and played in the youth ranks for six years and in 2003 joined Arsenal under manager Wenger who convinced him about a move to England.

Fabregas has claimed that time Iniesta's late involvement in the Barcelona side convinced him to quit the academy for the English club.

He also stated that seeing a better prospect and a player like Iniesta's failure to break into the first team convinced him that to have a better career he needed to find another club.

He told the BBC: "It was . I had just turned 16. Then you see Arsene Wenger there waiting for you, cutting his holiday, just to come and see you. For me it was a bit like 'what have I done?!'

"Then they made an offer for me, Arsene was very clear he wanted me to train with the first team since day one. I'm not going to lie it was tough but a fantastic opportunity.

"At Barcelona it was so difficult. You had the likes of Iniesta who still didn't even reach the first team at the time and he was seen as the next big thing. I had to make the decision and I did it. It happened and here I am today."

Fabregas eventually left for the Gunners in 2003 as a 16-year-old and in the very next year made his senior debut. He was also bestowed with the captaincy role at the early age of 21 for his impressive displays.

Fabregas later re-signed for Barcelona in 2011 from Arsenal, where he settled for three seasons before returning to the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014.

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    Story first published: Monday, November 6, 2017, 14:26 [IST]
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