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Cesc Fabregas explains why he decided to join Arsenal over Man United

Last updated 1 month ago | By Mirror

Fabregas went on to captain the Gunners (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas has opened up on why he left Barcelona to join Arsenal rather than Manchester United in 2003.

The Spaniard left Barca's La Masia academy as a 16-year-old to join Arsene Wenger's set-up in north London.

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He won the FA Cup in 2005 and went on to become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League during his eight years with the Gunners.

Fabregas rejoined Barcelona in 2011 and has since enjoyed a glittering career for club and country with further stints at Chelsea and Monaco.

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However, the 33-year-old's career could have panned out far differently had Wenger not interrupted his holiday to ensure Fabregas joined Arsenal over United.

Speaking on The Locker Room with Rio Ferdinand, Fabregas explained that he left Barcelona due to the competition for places.

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"I was 15 and I was the captain of that team and I was well-valued," he said. "(But) on top of me there was Iniesta, there was other players that you could see had a lot of potential to make it.

"One day a scout came from Arsenal to talk to my parents. The guy told me he came to see me over 50 times and said I was made to play for Arsenal and in the Premier League.

"He started showing me everything he studied from my game, he called Arsene Wenger to take me to London Colney to show me the training ground."

Fabregas also discussed how he was due to visit United's training ground after Arsenal's - but by then Wenger's efforts had already sealed the deal.

He added: "At that time I had Man United as well (interested), and I was supposed to make two trips, to London and Manchester a month later.

"I went to London Colney and everyone was on holiday. Arsene Wenger flew on a private jet from Paris to come and meet me, David Dein came to meet me, and this shocked me. Like wow - Arsene Wenger. I'm 15 years old, a nobody, and this guy is breaking up his holiday to come and meet me.

"And then we were talking, he spoke to my mother, he showed me the training ground, and I just fell in love with the whole project."