English Premiership

Cesc was a Spanish 'pioneer' - Pique

2015-10-08 10:50
Cesc Fabregas (AFP)

Madrid - Spain and Barcelona centre back Gerard Pique has hailed Cesc Fabregas as a "pioneer" among players from the Iberian nation with the Chelsea midfielder poised to win his 100th cap for La Roja.

Fabregas, now 28, became one of Spain's most successful exports when he left Barca aged 16 to join Arsenal and Pique said he had been a model for those who followed him to England.

Fabregas returned to Barca in 2011 before moving back to the Premier League to join Chelsea three years later and if he plays in Friday's Euro 2016 Group C qualifier against Luxembourg and the match against Ukraine three days later he will reach 100 appearances for the national team.

Pique, also 28, was in Barca's academy with Fabregas and moved to Manchester United in 2004 before going back to his boyhood club in 2008.

"Cesc was a pioneer in going to London at the age of 16," Pique told Marca Radio on Wednesday.

"Later the rest of us went and he was an example for many," he added.

"He is a winner. We have known each other since we were very young and if Cesc doesn't win he might not talk to you for the whole day or won't answer your calls."

Fabregas made his Spain debut in a friendly against Ivory Coast in Valladolid in March 2006 and played a key role in the back-to-back European titles in 2008 and 2012 and the debut World Cup triumph in 2010.

His penalty to win the quarter-final shootout against Italy at Euro 2008 is widely seen as a turning point in Spain's fortunes and they ended decades of underachievement by going on to beat Germany 1-0 in the final in Vienna.

"I would be thrilled to reach this milestone (100 caps), hopefully it will happen," Fabregas told Marca Radio.

"When I went to London it was a big change but I was clear that my goal was to be a footballer," he added. "I will always have a special affection for Arsenal."

Spain can make sure of their place at Euro 2016 with a win against group minnows Luxembourg in Logrono.

Vicente del Bosque's side have 21 points from their eight Group C matches, two ahead of Slovakia, who host Belarus on Friday. Ukraine are third on 16 points ahead of their match away to bottom side Macedonia.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Sheffield United v Newcastle United, Bramall Lane 21:30
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion, Emirates Stadium 22:15
Saturday, 07 December 2019
Everton v Chelsea, Goodison Park 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 17:00
Watford v Crystal Palace, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 08 December 2019
Norwich City v Sheffield United, Carrow Road 16:00
Newcastle United v Southampton, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Leicester City, Villa Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.