Cesc Fabregas announces retirement after trophy-laden career

Cesc Fabregas has announced his retirement (John Walton/PA)
Cesc Fabregas has announced his retirement (John Walton/PA)

Former Arsenal, Chelsea and Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas has retired from football at the age of 36.

The 2010 World Cup-winner made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday having ended the two-year contract he signed with Italian Serie B side Como last summer 12 months early.

He retires having made more than 700 first-team club appearances since making his Arsenal debut as a 16-year-old in 2003.

“It is with great sadness that the time has come for me to hang up my playing boots,” he said.

“From my first days at Barca, Arsenal, Barca again, Chelsea, Monaco and Como, I will treasure them all.

“From lifting the World Cup, the Euros, to winning everything in England and Spain and nearly all the European trophies, it has been a journey that I’ll never forget.”

At 16 years and 177 days he became Arsenal’s youngest ever player when he appeared against Rotherham in an EFL Cup third-round meeting at Highbury in October 2003, and became their youngest goalscorer when he netted against Wolves in the following round.

After a protracted transfer saga he left to return to boyhood club Barcelona in 2011, a year after after helping Spain to victory in the 2010 World Cup where he played all of extra time in the 1-0 final victory against the Netherlands in Johannesburg.

Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Braga in the Champions League
Fabregas made his name at Arsenal (Sean Dempsey/PA)

He was also a part of the side that won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

At Barca he won the 2012-13 La Liga title but left the Nou Camp to return to the Premier League with Chelsea a year later, helping the Blues to the league crown in 2015 and 2017.

He moved to Ligue 1 side Monaco in 2019 where he played 68 times before signing for Como last summer.

He added: “All those who have helped me, my teammates, coaches, directors, presidents, owners, fans and my agent. To all my family, from my parents and my sister to my wife and kids, I cherish your advice, mentorship and guidance.

“To my opponents who tried to knock me, thank you for making me stronger. It has already been more than worth it with all the great memories and friends that I have made on the way.”