Cesc Fabregas has had a productive few months. Manchester United were encouraged by someone to pursue him continually and the situation ended up strengthening the midfielder's position at Barcelona. When the Spanish club realised what they could lose they seemed to appreciate it more and Fabregas, rather than being taken for granted, is now right at the forefront and he'll hope that continues. There's also been talk of a contract renewal, something which wasn't on the cards before an exit was on the agenda. Someone has been hard at work, and it's all turned out well.
Fabregas will hope it continues, there's still the very real danger of him being pushed out of the team in a World Cup year, especially for the biggest matches. When everyone is fit it's hard to see how Fabregas gets in his preferred central midfield and with Neymar now on the scene it's not just a case of pushing him forward into a more attacking role. There are ways of getting around it, but that would be to juggle the team to get Fabregas into it and he needs to prove that's worthwhile and perhaps even accept even less preferable positions. Waiting for the departure of Xavi was never going to be a quick process.
The midfielder has started a commercial relationship with Banc Sabadell and part of that is taking part in a series of interviews the bank are doing about change and choices. It all looks quite serious and Fabregas is asked to talk about the big changes in his life, parenthood is covered and of course moving to London and then back to Barcelona.
Fabregas thinks that the decision to return could have been even harder than that to leave in the first place and questions that if he'd known how difficult it would be, it may have been a harder decision to make. He was a star in England, the Arsenal captain and a big fish. Returning to Barcelona provided pressures of being able to transfer that to his hometown club and, as we've all seen since, it sometimes hasn't worked out as perfectly as he will have hoped.
The Spanish international even said he could have decided to stay in London "But sometimes you want to think about what you want to do, what you want to improve. And like I decided to leave when 16, when 24 I decided to go back to my home, and for an even tougher challenge, because I had much more to show than as a teenager."
Fabregas feels that when he moved to Arsenal as a teenager he wasn't under much pressure, he had time and it was the club who had to progress him as well he show what he could do. When returning to Barcelona as the finished article the pressure was on immediately and he had to show he was worthy of the fight the club had put up for him.
Some Barcelona fans have questioned whether it was. When Thiago left for Bayern Munich there were some who thought it should have been Fabregas going toward the exit, perhaps it's because there's still bitterness that he left and then the club had to pay a big fee to see him return.
What has happened during the summer and him fighting off Manchester United interest has helped, convenient that. His more public persona of a Catalan family man is aiding it too, he's becoming what he wanted to be.
He can talk the perfect Barcelona persona too "Off the field, I'm very shy, I always try to be in the background. But on it my mindset changes completely and I am a different person, I get that warrior mentality and think much faster. But off the field I'm much calmer."
The tests aren't over for Fabregas, he's got a big year ahead of him but if he carries on the way he's started the season then it should all fall into place. His new sponsors will hope he continues to make the right choices.
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