Remembering when Cesc Fabregas used intelligence to beat Pedro and Willian in a speed test

Cesc Fabregas’ game has never been about speed.

The Spaniard, currently playing for Monaco after successful spells with Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea, has played across varying positions, including as a false 9 at times for the Blaugrana.

He was the chief playmaker at Arsenal while Antonio Conte used him as a deep-lying playmaker at Chelsea.

But never have you seen Fabregas flying past full-backs on the wing.

And yet we can never forget about the time he beat Chelsea teammates Willian and Pedro in a test of quickness and agility.

A few years ago the trio competed in a drill in which intelligence proved to be far more important than speed.

The drill required the players to pick up cones and place them on top of a pole. Fabregas picked up the cones in such an order that it meant he avoided making drastic changes of direction at the poles.


Put Fabregas on the start line of a 100m race alongside Pedro and Willian and he’ll lose every single time.

Throw in a few variations and Fabregas can use his intellect to find out a way to win.

And yet Fabregas was once accused of lacking tactical intelligence.

Back in 2015, after Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher blasted Fabregas’ tactical nous and said it was the reason why Barcelona sold him to the Blues.

“He lacks tactical intelligence, especially defensively,” Carragher said on Sky Sports, per the Independent. “That’s one of the reasons Barcelona let Chelsea take him.”

Fabregas’ trophy haul, which includes two Premier Leagues, the World Cup, two European Championships and La Liga, suggests he wasn’t entirely clueless.

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