Fabregas joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old and rose quickly through the ranks, becoming one of the biggest talents in world football at such a young age.
The Spanish midfielder quickly attracted heavy interest from Europe’s biggest clubs and after intense efforts from his boyhood club Barcelona, he eventually made the return to the Nou Camp in the summer of 2011.
Cesc Fabregas has revealed he turned down Real Madrid’s advances while playing for Arsenal
But Fabregas, now plying his trade in Ligue 1 with Monaco, has explained why he turned down Barcelona’s rivals Madrid while in north London – claiming he wanted to repay the faith shown in him by Arsene Wenger.
‘They called me more than once or twice,’ Fabregas told AS.
‘The first time I was very young. I was 18 and they offered me a big salary, but I felt like I belonged at Arsenal.
‘Wenger had bet the farm on me. I couldn’t leave. In any case, I’ll always be grateful to Madrid for the way they treated me.
‘When I was 23 I had a serious calf injury and they sent me a really nice message.
‘I’m grateful for their interest in me but I always dreamed of playing for Barcelona and if I felt that way it was for a reason. It all worked out pretty well for me.’
Fabregas eventually returned to his boyhood club Barcelona in the summer of 2011