Cesc Fabregas signed for Chelsea from Barcelona on 12 June 2014, putting pen to paper on a five-year contract. He took the number four shirt.
A versatile, technically gifted midfielder, Fabregas has acquired a wealth of experience from playing in two of the strongest leagues in Europe and representing the most successful Spain international side of all time.
Comfortable operating as an attacking midfielder, he can also perform in a deeper role, and on the international stage he has been used in wide areas, as a second striker or, on occasions, as a 'false no.9'.
Fabregas’s time at Stamford Bridge got off to a flyer with two assists on his debut away at Burnley. By the end of the season he had a huge 34 to his name (as judged by the club statistician) as well as five goals, with a host of impressive midfield performances helping the Blues reach the Premier League summit and win the Capital One Cup. He continued to be a mainstay of the team in the following seasons.
Fabregas’s Chelsea debut showcased his outstanding technical ability. His assist for Andre Schurrle's goal in a 3-1 win at Burnley - a first-time pass so beautifully executed the German could not miss - took the breath away, and he also supplied the corner from which Branislav Ivanovic netted our third. It was no surprise he was the recipient of the man of the match award.
Assists followed in subsequent wins against Leicester, Everton and Swansea – fellow summer signing Diego Costa in particular the beneficiary of some fine set-ups – before Fabregas struck his first Chelsea goal against Schalke in the Champions League.
The good individual and collective start to the season continued into October and November, during which time Fabregas was also able to celebrate his first league goal for the Blues, in a win at Crystal Palace.
The assists kept flowing and by the end of 2014 he already had 13 to his name as we ended the year top of the league. Before Christmas he scored his second league goal for the Blues in our 2-0 win at Stoke. Fabregas played the full 90 minutes as we overcame Tottenham at Wembley in the Capital One Cup final and supplied the pass which led to the second goal in our 2-0 victory. It was the Spaniard's first medal as a Chelsea player and he would not have to wait long for his second, his 24 assists in the league one of the major reasons why we secured the title, a feat recognised by the fans in one of the most popular songs of the successful season.
Though Fabregas's second season at Stamford Bridge did not hit the heights of the first for player or for team, he was the joint-highest appearance maker with 49 games, and second-highest supplier of assists (14 - as judged by the club statistician).
His better form came in the second half of the campaign with Guus Hiddink, as Jose Mourinho had done the previous 18 months, using the Spaniard in both advanced and deeper midfield positions. In a live TV appearance as a match analyst, Fabregas said the players felt bad over letting Mourinho down regarding extra holiday he gave them as champions.
Fabregas proved to be a reliable penalty taker when called upon in 2015/16, including slotting our final goal of the season at home to new champions Leicester, and he scored a fine direct free-kick as well as a penalty at home to West Ham.
Fabregas made his 100th Chelsea appearance when he came off the bench against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in September 2016. It was primarily as a substitute Antonio Conte used the midfielder during the early part of his time in charge. The player did start in the League Cup at Leicester where his two extra-time goals won the game, and at Sunderland in a Premier League match before Christmas when his strike was the only goal of the game.
Assists also came with typical regularity including a magnificent one for an early season Diego Costa late winner at Watford, another for the same striker in a victory at Man City, and two on New Year's Eve at home to Stoke.
In February 2017, Fabregas scored for the first time against his former club Arsenal, when he lobbed the ball in following a Petr Cech mistake in a 3-1 home win.
Conte increasingly deployed the experienced Spaniard in the run-in to lifting the Premier League trophy, and he responded with important contributions.
In May 2017 at home to Middlesbrough, Fabregas became the first player to register 10 assists in six different Premier League seasons.
He was also involved in Michy Batshuayi's title-securing goal at West Brom.
Fabregas was shown a red card in the first league game of the season against Burnley but he returned from suspension in style by scoring in a win against Everton. The central midfield formation varied between a two- and a three-man configuration in the first half of the season with the Spaniard used at times in either.
He played his 100th career Champions League match against Roma in October 2017 and made his 150th Chelsea appearance in the following game, which ended in victory over Manchester United.
He brought up a half-century of Premier League goals with a fine strike that settled a game at Swansea, and a few weeks later, it was his pass that Eden Hazard took in his stride which eventually resulted in the Belgian being fouled and netting the only goal of the FA Cup final.
Born near Barcelona, Fabregas joined the Barça academy at the age of 10 but having flourished in their youth sides, he left his boyhood club and moved to Arsenal in 2003 at the age of 16.
With his first season in England one of adaptation, he began to make his mark during the following campaign, and at the end of the season he started the FA Cup final as Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties in Cardiff.
Patrick Vieira's departure to Juventus afforded Fabregas the opportunity to establish himself as a regular in midfield and he grabbed it with both hands, shining en route to the Champions League final in 2006 where Arsenal were beaten by Barcelona.
At the end of the 2006/07 season he was nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards as well as being named in the 2006 UEFA Team of the Year.
Aged 20, he was again nominated for both PFA awards at the end of the following campaign, winning the Young Player of the Year prize, as well as being named in the Premier League Team of the Season.
In 2008 Fabregas took on the Arsenal captaincy and, buoyed by the responsibility, added goals to his game on a consistent basis before moving back to Barcelona in the summer of 2011.
After making his debut in the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid, he scored his first goal for the Barça first team in a UEFA Super Cup victory against Porto, before netting on his La Liga debut, a 5-0 win over Villarreal. He later scored six goals in a four-game period, including one in a 3-1 victory away at Real Madrid, as well as finding the target in the FIFA World Club Cup final, a 4-0 win over Santos.
Fabregas featured in both legs of the 2012 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, when the Blues came out on top to secure a place in the Munich final, and he scored his first Barcelona hat-trick the following season against Mallorca, Barça finishing that campaign as champions of La Liga. There was little doubt Fabregas had played a pivotal part in their success with 11 goals to his name.His third and final season at Barcelona promised much for long spells but ultimately Gerardo Martino's side ended the season with only the Spanish Super Cup to their name.
At international level, Fabregas has represented Spain at every major tournament since the 2006 World Cup when he was just 19, winning three trophies along the way.
At Euro 2012, another triumphant campaign for Spain, he scored the winning penalty in a semi-final shoot-out against Portugal as well as starting the final, a 4-0 win against Italy.
Fabregas completed his move to Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, but it was a tournament which ended in disappointment for the holders.
Spain were beaten 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opening game after taking the lead, with Fabregas coming off the bench late in the game. He was an unused substitute as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Chile in their second match, a result which saw them eliminated from the competition. In their third and final game he started on the bench once again but replaced Santi Cazorla with 22 minutes remaining, before teeing up Juan Mata to score in a 3-0 win over Australia.
In qualification for Euro 2016, Fabregas featured regularly as Spain topped their group and in the final match, away to Ukraine and back in the Kiev stadium where they had won the competition in 2012, he gained his 100th cap, only the 10th Spaniard to do so.
He started all four of Spain's Euro 2016 games and created the chance for their opening goal in a defeat by Croatia in their third group game, but the defence of their European title ended at the Round of 16 stage when they were defeated 2-0 by Antonio Conte's Italy.