Cesc Fabregas discusses his career, maintaining his qualities, his penalty miss against Nottingham Forest, and he shares his view on Callum Hudson-Odoi...
There was plenty of emotion from Cesc Fabregas when he left the pitch at the end of Chelsea’s FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest yesterday, and the 31-year-old was in reflective mood when he spoke afterwards.
It was not quite the perfect day for the midfielder. He had a penalty saved when the game was still goalless, but a second-half pair of goals from his international team-mate Alvaro Morata, who converted two Callum Hudson-Odoi crosses, meant Fabregas had no major reason to rue his miss.
‘It feels like it was last week I started playing professionally and now it is over 15 years,’ said Fabregas, looking back.
‘It is a long time but for the young players when they start playing, my little advice is to enjoy it every single second because it goes so fast. In football you have to be ready every three days, you have to live with criticism, you have to live with everyone saying how good you are – up and downs - and you just think I am young, I have time but time really does fly, so enjoy every single second of it.’
Fabregas admitted the occasion got the better of him at the end of the game but during it, those watching on saw some examples of the exemplary passing that has characterised his time since he joined Chelsea in 2014.
‘It is always something that I have had and it feels like growing up and getting older, it is one of those things that really does never go away because it is technique,’ he said. ‘Physicality goes away from all of us unfortunately when you get older, you lose speed, you lose some sharpness, but technique I think is something that always stays with you when you have something, so hopefully it can stay with me for a very long time yet.
‘With the penalty, when I stopped in the middle of my run I saw the goalkeeper going down and I thought that I had it, so yes, it is unfortunate but the day I did 100 caps for Spain I also missed a penalty!’
Looking more to the future, Fabregas also shared his thoughts on Hudson-Odoi following the 18-year-old’s latest impressive showing:
‘He has got everything to make it in world football. I have told him that if he does not really make it at the very top I will be disappointed because he is one of these talents you can see can be fantastic. He can be world class, so he just needs to keep his feet on the ground, keep working hard.
‘He is a humble boy, he really loves playing football and hopefully he can really make it very soon.’