Cesc Fabregas has signed a two-year-deal with Italian second-tier side Como and has also become a shareholder in the club.

The 35-year-old left Monaco at the end of his deal with the Ligue 1 outfit, having played just two league games last season due to injury, but insisted he was not about to retire.

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder was presented to the media as a Como player on Monday and said he was looking forward to getting started in a league he believes to be a strong one.

"The quality of the championship is high, as is that of the relegated teams [from Serie A]," Fabregas said. "I can't wait to start, do well, play and win a lot. And then I would like to do some magic here in Como."

Como finished 13th in Serie B last season, but chief executive and Dennis Wise – another former Chelsea player – eventually hopes to get the club into the top flight, and he revealed Fabregas has also become a shareholder.

"Cesc will become a shareholder of the company, that's another reason why he came here," Wise said. "He will be here longer than expected.

"He wanted to join the club for our ambitions, to fix the stadium, open a new sports centre and get to Serie A."

Fabregas explained the conversations he held with Wise as well as club owners' representative Mirwan Suwarso and general and sporting manager Carlalberto Ludi that led him to accept a move to Italy.

"I have been extremely fortunate that my career has allowed me to play at the most wonderful clubs. Como is no exception," he said.

"After lengthy talks with Mirwan, Dennis and Charlie, they explained in detail one of the most exciting and ambitious projects in football.

"This is why I am looking to build a long-term future here, not just on the pitch but also off it, too. I believed in the vision from the first moment, and I have decided to invest personally to be part of the bigger picture.

"I cannot wait to get out on the pitch and play in front of the fans in such a beautiful setting. The tradition, infrastructure and desire that the owners have to take this club to the next level is inspiring. I cannot wait to start."

Although he sees a future in coaching, Cesc Fabregas has ruled out immediate plans to retire following his confirmed departure from Monaco over the weekend.

The 35-year-old was only able to make two league appearances this past season, with ankle and hamstring injuries hampering his ability to see sustained time on the pitch.

Effectively without Fabregas, Monaco finished third in Ligue 1 behind Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, defeating them both and losing only once in the final 12 games of the season after Niko Kovac's dismissal in December.

Asked on his desire to eventually coach, Fabregas insisted he wants to end his playing career on the right note first.

"First, I still want to play. I don't want to end like this," he told the Ligue 1 website. "It's been too bad a year to end like this. I want to have fun, to finish with good feelings.

"Nothing is decided, I am listening. I am open to everything. Maybe the level of club will have to drop, but there are teams of a lower level in the Champions League. One thing is clear. I'll go to a club where I'll play, where they believe in me."

Fabregas arrived in the principality in January 2019 with the added objective of helping younger players in the squad develop, as Monaco battled relegation under then-boss and former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry.

Making 68 appearances over that period, the World Cup winner is content with his time in Monaco overall but seeks a more suitable punctuation mark to his playing career.

"At the time, I signed with one objective, to save the team, which was then 19th with 13 points," he said. "I took a big risk, because relegation was possible. We can be satisfied to have saved the team's top-flight status. I'm proud of what I contributed in those six months.

"When I came here, Thierry Henry and [former Monaco vice president] Vadim Vasilyev also asked me to help the youngsters develop. That was an important point.

"Today, I have the feeling that I have earned the respect and sympathy of this young generation. I hope I have helped. We like each other. I will continue to follow them, to talk with them.

"For me, these two and a half years have been positive. On the other hand, the past season was very bad, the worst of my career. By far, I've never experienced anything like it."

Monaco have confirmed that midfielder Cesc Fabregas will leave the club at the end of this month.

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea star has been troubled by injuries during the 2021-22 season, playing just twice in a Ligue 1 campaign in which Monaco finished third behind Marseille and champions Paris Saint-Germain.

A statement from Monaco on Saturday confirmed the 35-year-old's imminent departure.

"The midfielder with more than 830 career games, whose contract is coming to an end, leaves the principality club three and a half years after his arrival," the statement read.

"AS Monaco thanks Cesc Fabregas for his [time] at the club and wishes him the best for the future. Moltes gracies, Cesc!"

 

Fabregas joined Monaco in January 2019 and had already revealed his intentions in May to leave the Stade Louis II, but he does not intend to retire from the game.

"It's sure that it's over between Monaco and me," Fabregas told French outlet So Foot last month. "My contract expires in June, and I'm looking for a fresh start. My head needs a fresh start elsewhere.

"It's the worst year not only in my career, but also in my life, because when I'm not happy in football, I'm not happy in my life. I suffered a lot this year, and it was hard mentally. You just have to stay strong."

Cesc Fabregas has confirmed he will leave Monaco when his contract expires at the end of the season, but the midfielder has no intentions to retire just yet.

Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Fabregas has been hampered by injuries during the 2021-22 season, in which Monaco are three points behind second-placed Marseille with two games to play.

The Spain international signed on a free transfer in January 2019, and racked up over 800 Ligue 1 minutes a season in his first three campaigns at Monaco.

However, he has appeared just twice in the league this term for his measly 36 minutes and Fabregas has revealed this season will be his last with Monaco.

"It's sure that it's over between Monaco and me," Fabregas told French outlet So Foot. "My contract expires next June, and I'm looking for a fresh start. My head needs a fresh start elsewhere.

"It's the worst year not only in my career, but also in my life, because when I'm not happy in football, I'm not happy in my life. I suffered a lot this year, and it was hard mentally. You just have to stay strong. 

"But sometimes things happen for a reason. I'm grateful that it happened at 35 rather than 25 when I was at the height of my career. 

"So if you look at it that way – 19 years, almost 900 games, winning almost everything – it could have been worse."

 

Aged 35, World Cup winner and two-time European Championship victor Fabregas may be expected to move into a coaching role to utilise his experience, but he insists his preference is to continue playing.

"To be honest, I've already had two or three phone calls in the past two weeks from some of my former coaches to find out what I wanted to do, to see if I wanted to join them this summer as a coach," he added.

"But this year has been so bad that I can't finish on that. Not after building this career. I want to keep playing. 

"I'm grateful for the career I've had, but I don't feel like it's over. I just want to enjoy my football and continue to be competitive at some level."

As for the identity of Fabregas' next club, he has no preference as long as he can rediscover his enjoyment of football.

"I'm open to anything, I just want to have fun," he said when asked about potential clubs, leagues or countries. "After this year, I just want to play and enjoy my football. 

"The place doesn't really matter, it's more my head that counts. When I'm fit I feel really good, when I'm training with my team-mates I don't feel any different when it comes to passion for the game.

"It's just about finding the right project and doing it. I will look for a new project and see where the future takes me."

Cesc Fabregas has urged Paris Saint-Germain supporters to get behind a struggling Lionel Messi, rather than criticising his former team-mate.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner swapped Barcelona for Paris last August, ending his 21-year association with the Blaugrana.

Messi departed the Camp Nou as Barca's all-time leading appearance maker and goalscorer, having netted 672 times across 778 games in all competitions.

However, the Argentina captain has been unable to replicate that form in Ligue 1, scoring just twice in 18 appearances so far.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are well on course to regain their Ligue 1 crown, as they lead second-placed Marseille by 12 points with nine matches remaining.

But following their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid, the likes of Messi and Neymar were jeered during PSG's next league game against Bordeaux at Parc des Princes.

Fabregas played alongside Messi at Barcelona between 2011 and 2014, winning the LaLiga title in 2012-13.

The Monaco midfielder understands the frustration of the PSG faithful, but feels the criticism of his ex-colleague is unjustified. 

 

He told Marca: "Leo's case is very simple. For me, he has been the best ever that I have seen and played with. What I have seen from him has been exceptional.

"I know what happened with PSG. The fans want to create a moment of tension with the players.

"During the match, they support you; when they sing your name, perfect. But what I saw the other day – jeering when Neymar lost the ball or whistling when they touched the ball – is very ugly.

"They justify that they get paid a lot. They lost against Real Madrid – that's fine – but didn't they want to win? That's what comes first.

"With PSG, they haven't won anything yet, for the moment, but they will surely win the league.

"You're talking about a player [Messi] who has just arrived. PSG have never had a player like this in their lives.

"It's better to be grateful, to support him and not crush him. This year or next, these guys will bring you great moments."

Lionel Messi is "very happy" at Paris Saint-Germain despite making a slow start to life in the French capital since his shock move from Barcelona, according to friend and former team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner signed for Ligue 1 giants PSG in August after Barcelona, the club he had been associated with for 21 years, were unable to fulfil an agreement on a new contract due to financial reasons.

Messi scored a staggering 672 goals and assisted 265 more in 778 appearances across 17 seasons in Barca's first team, but he has so far managed just one goal and zero assists in five games for his new club in what has been a stop-start campaign.

He has had 13 shots during his 370 minutes on the field for PSG, finding the target from four of those.

Monaco midfielder Fabregas has opened up on Messi's surprise departure from Camp Nou two months ago and has refuted previous suggestions that the Argentina international is unsettled in the French capital.

 

"He's very happy. There are a lot of players he knows already and who speak Spanish. He's very happy, of course," Fabregas, who progressed through Barca's La Masia academy and returned to the club for a three-season spell in 2011, told Prime Video Sport.

"I was on holiday with him a week earlier, and he told me he was close to signing for Barcelona and he was due to start training the following week.

"Five days later, he told me it wasn't possible and that the club had told him to leave. I was very sad because I'm his friend and I'm a Barcelona fan. But now, I'm happy to be able to play against him this season."

Messi was not included in PSG's squad for Friday's 2-1 win over Angers, the superstar forward not being considered for selection due to being in World Cup qualifying action for Argentina the previous day.

Kylian Mbappe's contentious late penalty sealed a ninth win in 10 Ligue 1 games for leaders PSG, who return to action on Tuesday with a home match against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

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