By Antonio Torres del Cerro
La Turbie, France, Sep 28 (EFE).- At the tail end of a glittering professional career, Cesc Fábregas, one of the best European midfielders this century, is now a role model for the youngsters at AS Monaco. But as his playing career winds down, he is keeping one eye on his future after he hangs up his boots.
“(In five years) I see myself coaching. I want to do it at the highest level,” the 34-year-old told Efe during an interview at the Ligue 1 club’s new training center, located on the outskirts of the luxurious city-state.
A product of FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy and winner of the World Cup and European Championships with Spain, the former Arsenal and Chelsea star discussed Barça’s current challenges, his friend Lionel Messi’s arrival at Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain and his role at AS Monaco.
Question: How are you getting along with such a young squad like AS Monaco’s (with an average age of 24.3 years)?
Answer: I am delighted to be here. I feel the love they have for me, and I feel the same way. I still see myself playing on for a while, but it is true that I have a slightly different role, on and off the pitch.
Q: You’ve been at Monaco, one of France’s biggest clubs which is recovering from a turbulent period, for two and a half years.
A: Last year we made a lot of progress (the team finished third in the league under new manager, former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac). This year we have not started well (the team has already been knocked out of the Champions League) but, little by little, we are on a winning path again. We are excited by the Europa League.
Q: Were you surprised by how Messi left Barca?
A: In football, everything can change in a matter of seconds. It was his turn this time, it’s happened to me many times. They are moments in life that you have to overcome in the best way possible. Leo is a super strong guy, very competitive. He will not have problems adjusting.