Francesc “Cesc” Fàbregas Soler (Catalan: born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for English club Chelsea and the Spain national team. Fàbregas came through La Masia, Barcelona’s youth academy, leaving at 16 when he was signed by English Premier League side Arsenal in September 2003. Following injuries to key midfielders in the early part of the 2004–05 season, he went on establish himself in the team. He broke several of the club’s records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best players in his position, and won the FA Cup in 2005. After a protracted transfer saga Fàbregas left London on 15 August 2011 to return to Barcelona in a deal worth up to £35 million. During his three-year spell at the Camp Nou, Fàbregas played in alongside Xavi and Andrés Iniesta and won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups. He returned to London in June 2014 to Arsenal’s cross-town rivals Chelsea for a fee of £30 million, and in his first year there he helped to secure League Cup and Premier League triumphs. Internationally, Fàbregas made his debut for the Spanish national team in March 2006. He represented his country in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2012, 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was a key figure in Spain’s European Championship victories in 2008 and 2012 and their 2010 World Cup triumph in which he supplied the pass for Andrés Iniesta’s winning goal in the final. On 12 October 2015, Fàbregas earned his 100th cap for Spain. At Barcelona, Fàbregas continued to play a prominent midfield and playmaking role, although he was moved into a more offensive position than that which he had occupied at Arsenal. His new role with Barcelona was comparable to that which he had played with the Spanish national team. He effortlessly fit into Pep Guardiola’s 4–3–3 formation, participating in the midfield’s trademark “tiki-taka” patient, attacking, build-up style of play, also associated with the Spanish national squad under Vincente Del Bosque and Luis Aragonés. Fàbregas was used in a variety of different roles under Guardiola, scoring several goals and providing many assists. Due to the presence of Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta in the three man midfield, as well as the emerging Thiago, however, Fàbregas was often employed out of position as a winger, or even as a supporting forward under Guardiola. He regularly performed in the role that Lionel Messi had often occupied during the previous season, functioning as a false-9 in a 4–6–0 formation (a role which he would also play for Spain at Euro 2012 under Vicente del Bosque), whilst Messi would play as a right winger or second forward. Fàbregas was, however, still used in deeper roles on occasion, as an attacking, deep-lying or central playmaking midfielder, in particular under Guardiola’s successors Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino.