“I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t really part of (Conte’s) initial plans and at that point you can do two things”.
“You can just give up and accept you are not going to be part of the team or the club in the future”.
“Physically… I wouldn’t say better than ever, but in the last few years I feel the fitness”. That’s what I did, and every time I had an opportunity I gave my all.
Chelsea have already booked their place in the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League and the Blues will face Atletico Madrid in their final group stage contest.
Even a win could see them relegated to the Europa League as Roma only need to beat Azerbaijan’s FK Qarabag to secure their passage to the last 16. We want to play every game to try to win.
Fabregas is a first choice in Conte’s favoured 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations, but the 30-year-old playmaker is out of contract in June 2019.
Fabregas will enter the final year of his current contract next summer, but he dismissed the suggestion that Chelsea’s policy of only offering players aged 30 and older one-year extensions could be a problem.
“I am only 30. What is 30? Nothing”, Fabregas added.
“I think he was very important for us to win the title last season”.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder is newly 30 and his boss thinks he has many more years at the highest level if he continues to demonstrate the same desire. I’m enjoying my football.
“I have been very focused on everything Chelsea and it just came to a time, right bang on ten years, where I felt it was time for me to go and do something else”.
It was clear to see from the very beginning that Fabregas was not your archetypal Antonio Conte player.
“Gary knows very well Eden’s skill and for this reason, he must pay great attention”.
Chelsea are back in action tomorrow night when Conte’s men host Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Asked if that would provide additional satisfaction, given the saga surrounding Diego Costa which saw the striker return after three years at Stamford Bridge, Conte was evasive.
Fabregas, who was a member of the Spain side that won successive European Championships in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 World Cup, said he could have just given up when Conte didn’t initially select him last season.
“We’re in the situation we’re in and we have to play our game against a team in good form, top of the group”, he said.