PREMIER LEAGUE

Cesc Fàbregas: “Sitting on the bench hurts”

The Chelsea midfielder said he plans to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge but admitted that it’s been a difficult start to the season for him under Antonio Conte

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Cesc Fábregas, durante un partido con el Chelsea.
Darren Staples Reuters

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas spoke on Spanish national radio last night to discuss his difficult start to the season, his future with the Spanish national team and his former teammates at Barcelona.

A tough start under Antonio Conte

Obviously it’s been difficult because I’ve never spent so many games in a row on the bench. But coming on and helping the side to turn a game around has done a lot for me emotionally; it helps you feel part of the team.

“What I really want is to succeed here at Chelsea. If I really felt that I didn’t have a future here I would have already left. Sitting on the bench hurts a lot, like it would every footballer, but I know that I’m good enough to succeed here.

Fabregas has had to settle for a place on the bench so far this season

I’ve spoken with Conte about the situation. His way of playing is unique and we like it a lot. He’s a great manager and he tells things to you as they are.”

An uncertain future with La Roja

Fàbregas was left out of Julen Lopetegui’s first squad as national team manager along with Iker Casillas, Juanfran and his Chelsea teammate Pedro.

I knew that it was a possibility. Julen called me, something that I appreciated a lot because I’ve been selected regularly for almost eleven years. He told me that I wasn’t playing much and that he needed players with match fitness. I completely understood.

Fabregas has been a mainstay in the Spain set-up for over a decade

My time with the national team hasn’t come to an end. Not at all. I feel stronger than ever. I’m only 29 and I’ll have my chance.”

Messi is the best in the world, says Fàbregas

Fàbregas also discussed his former side Barcelona, Leo Messi’s injury and Andrés Iniesta’s pending contract renewal.

“I spoke with Leo Messi yesterday about his injury. He’s doing OK and he’ll recover soon. He’s the best in the world and Barcelona are the only team in the world that know how to look after him.”

The club will have to assess how many years of contract Andrés has left but it’s time they called him. I don’t there’ll be a problem.”