Fabregas: I'm not giving up Spanish national team return

Fabregas: I'm not giving up Spanish national team return

Fabregas: I'm not giving up Spanish national team return

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder is currently playing in France with Monaco and spoke to MARCA about life in Ligue 1, Barcelona, Eden Hazard and lots more.
How can you win Ligue 1?
It's a very physical league. Everyone is very quick and strong. Tactically it's not the best, but it'll improve because they've brought in more experimental coaches. There are lots of counterattacks, so you have to be very prepared defensively when you're attacking. There is always talent coming through, which shows in the World Cup that [France] won.
Is it as good as the Premier League or LaLiga?
No. The English and Spanish [leagues] are the two best in the world and then you've got the Italian [league] and the French [league]. There is important individual talent and the big teams always have their eyes on them.
What brought you to Monaco?
[Thierry] Henry called me to try and save the team [from relegation]. I had six months left on my contract [at Chelsea] and they only offered me a further year, with a 60 percent drop in salary. In a year's time, I would've had the same problem and the year after that. I had [offers from] lots of teams in Italy. When you get to the age of 32, teams offer you a one-year [contract] or two years maximum. I wanted stability for myself and my family. I didn't want to change teams each year. [Monaco] offered me three years, a call from Henry and the goal to survive, then to get back in the Champions League. It motivated me and I liked it.
Do you dream of getting back in the Spain squad? Is it possible?
Navas and Cazorla have done it. It's clear to me. I'm training, playing and I'm good enough. I haven't lost anything as a footballer after almost 800 matches. Physically I'm not as I was at 20 years old, but I feel very, very good. I'm not out of tune at all. A GPS controls us and I'm above [average]. You have to find an opportunity and to not let it escape you. I'm not giving up on a return.
For the first time in your career, you won't be playing in European competitions...
It's going to be strange. In years gone by, you used to watch it on TV thinking that you could face this team. Now I will watch it purely out of my love for football. It's a shame. I also like to analyse other things in football. While there are good matches on, we will keep watching football.
Do you miss the atmosphere of the Premier League?
In that sense, the Premier League is a thousand times better than the other leagues. Comebacks that you see are thanks to the fans. A corner, a free-kick... it's moving ahead, like it is in closing the transfer window before the season starts. Here everyone speaks about whether the player will stay or not and that's not the best thing for the team. They should copy the Premier League.
What do you think of Kylian Mbappe now he's your rival?
A beast of a player. He's the type of player I imagined having as a teammate and having this feeling of filling your boots [with assists]. You watch the runs he makes, the speed, with the intelligence that he has, because there are other quick players but they don't have the correct timing to know when the ball will arrive. Mbappe has it all. He's also a great finisher, he's hungry [for goals]. He's the star of the future without any doubt.
You know Eden Hazard very well. What's he like?
He's got a very special personality. He's very care-free, but inside he's a winner; he always wants to compete well, which brings good vibes to the dressing room. He's always playing jokes. You can't expect Hazard to be an internal leader because he doesn't like to speak in meetings; he stays on the outside, he's not this type of leader, but on the pitch he is. He never hides, he wants the ball, he's great one-on-one, he's very good with his back to goal, he makes assists, scores goals. He's the complete player and if all goes well, he will perform incredibly for Real Madrid.
Is he capable of leading Real Madrid's return to the top?
Barcelona and Real Madrid are always big words, but looking at what I saw at Chelsea, I will say yes. He was always there when we needed him. I see him more than capable of it.
What do you think about Barcelona? Are they favourites for LaLiga again?
We'll see what happens. I really like their squad, whether Neymar comes or not. Right now, I see them winning LaLiga, but lots of things can happen in football. They've strengthened well with [Antoine] Griezmann and [Frenkie] de Jong. We'll see what happens with Neymar. Seeing those four up front would be incredible. We'll have to see how the coach manages it. LaLiga will improve massively with Neymar at Barcelona. The Champions League is another thing.
Have you ever thought about joining Real Madrid?
Until they sign me, I don't like to say which teams I support or don't support. You can't sing victory songs. I've been in contact with Real Madrid on various occasions. Since I was very young. First when I was 18, then when I was 20. I was very attached to Arsenal and I couldn't [leave]. The way Real Madrid have treated me and my family has been spectacular. They even sent me a card when I was injured once. In the end, I crossed a dream that I had as a youngster and ended up fulfilling it.
How long will you keep playing?
I'm not going to throw it away. I feel really good and my numbers are still very high. While it's like this and I have the desire to go to training every morning, from wanting to win, wanting to be the best in each match, each training session, I will continue. The tantrum of a defeat... I started very young and I've played lots of matches, but the head is still intact and I have lots of hunger.

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