Cesc Fabregas has been speaking about the ‘special feeling’ of winning the Premier League title for the second time in three years with the Blues.
The Spaniard started Friday’s win over West Bromwich Albion which sealed the title and picked up where he left off against Middlesbrough in the previous game, dictating the tempo of the match from his midfield position. Fabregas has now won the Premier League title in two of his three seasons as a Chelsea player.
‘It feels great,’ he said. ‘I was very lucky to win things, probably the biggest things in football, but winning the Premier League gives you a special feeling. Having played in Spain and watching a lot of football like I do, German, French, Italian, this is the best league in the world.
‘Maybe it doesn’t have the best players in the world but it’s the most difficult and the most competitive for sure. To be able to win it twice in three years with Chelsea is something to really be proud of.
‘Anyone can beat you [in England]. When I was in Spain there were many games where you would have to do really badly to drop points but here every game is tough. It’s very competitive. Next year, when we are back involved in the Champions League, we will have to be at the top of our game if we want to compete again for the Premier League.’
Antonio Conte became the third Chelsea manager to win the title in his first season in England, and Fabregas was full of praise for the Italian.
‘He has made a big impact, he’s a good influence to have around because he’s a winner and when he sees something isn’t working well he tries to change,’ the midfielder explained.
‘At the beginning there were a lot of changes, which we are not used to, but now we know what he wants from us. We also had a lot of time during weeks to rest well and prepare tactically, we know maybe next season we won’t have as much time, but this season has helped us prepare for next season, so full credit to him.
‘I’m sure we will strengthen our team, we’ve won the league but that doesn’t mean the team cannot get better. Every team can improve and I’m sure Chelsea will try to do that.’
Having started the season out of the side Fabregas has grown in stature as the campaign has progressed and, during the run-in, been one of our most consistent performers.
‘Probably,’ he responded, when asked if he has got stronger over the course of the season. ‘I feel in great shape. I’ve been feeling like that since early December. At the beginning I wasn’t playing and that’s frustrating. When you are not getting in the team, and you don’t know what’s happening, it comes down to hard work and belief. I made it happen, I feel great and hopefully we can finish the season in top form.’
The Blues bring the curtain down on our league campaign with consecutive home matches against Watford tonight and Sunderland on Sunday, when we will collect the Premier League trophy.
There is still plenty to play for, however, with the small matter of an FA Cup final against Fabregas’s former side Arsenal to come on 27 May.
‘It’s not that I like to play against Arsenal because they are a club which is in my heart and they always will be, but this is football and that’s what we have to do,’ he said.
‘Hopefully we can win the Double. It will be a tough game, Arsenal are now playing a different system and they are winning. Maybe they are not performing fantastically but they are defensively better and their belief is high, but hopefully we can hurt them in the way we want to.’