Cesc Fabregas: Ex-Chelsea star once beat Willian & Pedro in speed test by using intelligence


Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas never built his game around speed.

Fabregas, now 34 and playing in Ligue 1 for Monaco, instead relies upon his intelligence and passing skills – which he’s exceptional at.

There’s a reason the midfielder boasts an extensive honours list that includes two Premier League titles, one La Liga title, the World Cup and two European Championships.

Fabregas’ versatility is also an extremely useful part of his game. He was Arsenal’s chief playmaker, while Antonio Conte used him as a deep-lying playmaker at Chelsea.

At times during his spell at Barcelona he played as a false 9.

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But the sight of Fabregas on the wing, leaving a full-back in his dust, is a rare one.

And yet the Spaniard once proved that speed isn’t all you need to win a race.


Intelligence beats speed

A few years ago, Fabregas took part in a drill that measured quickness and agility with then-Chelsea teammates Pedro and Willian.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Fabregas wouldn’t stand much of a chance. But he didn’t need speed for this one – just intelligence.

The drill required the three players to pick up cones and place them on top of a pole. The midfielder picked the cones up in such an order that it meant he didn’t have to make any drastic changes of direction – which saved him valuable time.


Fabregas in a straight 100m race against Willian and Pedro loses every single time.

Introduce some variations that allow him to use his smarts and he can find a way to win.

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‘Cesc lacks tactical intelligence’

The 34-year-old was once accused of lacking tactical intelligence, though.

In 2015, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher slammed Fabregas’ tactical nous after Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City.

“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.”

Would a player without tactical know-how really win be a part of as many trophy-winning teams as Fabregas has? We have our doubts.


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