Cape Town - Chelsea midfielder
Cesc Fabregas has spoken highly of Manchester United manager Jose
Mourinho as the two prepare to go head-to-head again in the FA Cup
Fabregas left Arsenal to return to his home club Barcelona in 2011,
but Mourinho was the man who brought the Spaniard back to England when
he signed him for Chelsea in 2014.
The 31-year-old has spent significant portions of his career
competing against Mourinho, for Arsenal against Chelsea, for Barcelona
against Real Madrid, and now for Chelsea against Manchester United.
However, he still looks back fondly on the time he spent under Mourinho
at Stamford Bridge.
Fabregas will square off against the Portuguese tactician yet again
on Saturday when Chelsea face United in the FA Cup final at Wembley
Asked if he has an insight into Mourinho's tactics, Fabregas said at
Cobham Training Ground: "No, especially in the last two years, we played
many games against them and he has changed the system many times. I am
sure he will change something again on Saturday.
"I love him. I always say that. I owe him a lot because he brought me
here, I will always remember that. My first year here, Arsene [Wenger]
had always treated me like a son, but the closest anyone has been to him
was Jose. The way he treated me, the way he made me feel, how he let me
be a leader of the team from day one.
"This was fantastic and in all the four years since I joined Chelsea,
that will always stay with me. It [this experience] is thanks to him.
Our history of what happened between us - I played for Arsenal and him
at Chelsea, Barcelona and him with Real Madrid.
"We were confronting each other, but then we humbled ourselves and
started a good relationship. This is very nice but hopefully it will not
be his day and Chelsea can win.
"I was happy at Barcelona but there were players who were there for
many years before me. For me, it was different because I went and came
back and they paid money for me. It is more difficult, I never had the
same love that the other players had. That’s also because they were such
fantastic players, don’t get me wrong! When he brought me here, I had a
lot of fire inside of me. It was a fantastic year [with him], to be