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Soccer player Cesc Fàbregas has starred for the Arsenal and FC Barcelona clubs and led Spain to multiple championships in international competition.
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That same year, he helped Arsenal take home the Premier League championship. In 2005, with Fàbregas getting more playing time, Arsenal repeated its 2003 title turn and finished as the Premier League's top team.
Fàbregas won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in 2008, and later that year he was named captain of the Arsenal squad. But despite his standing with the club that groomed him to become a star, the lure of playing in his home country proved too powerful to ignore,
and Fàbregas returned to FC Barcelona in August 2011 for a transfer fee of approximately $56 million. Fàbregas enjoyed immediate success with the powerful Barcelona team, which won the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and Copa Del Rey in his first season.
In addition to his club successes, Fàbregas has starred for his country's national team. The youngest player to appear in a World Cup game for Spain, Fàbregas distinguished himself on soccer's biggest stage in 2006, when he came off the bench to spark a comeback win over Tunisia and vault his countrymen into the knockout stage. His performance drew praise from former Argentina captain Diego Maradona, who told a Spanish television station that "Cesc gave Spain the final ball that it was lacking in the first half."
Although Spain fell short of the ultimate prize in that year's tournament, they soon proved indomitable in world play. In Euro 2008, Fàbregas netted the deciding penalty kick in a quarter-final win over Italy, a key moment in Spain's march to the title. In 2010, Fàbregas provided the assist for the lone goal scored in Spain's World Cup final victory over the Netherlands. Two years later, history repeated itself as Fàbregas again nailed a deciding penalty kick, this time in a semifinal victory over Portugal, to help Spain claim Euro 2012 and become the first team to win three consecutive international competitions.
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