Ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United, Blues midfielder Cesc Fabregas expressed his admiration for the manager who will be on the opposing touchline- his former boss, Jose Mourinho. The Barcelona area native credits Mourinho for being as influential on his career as long time Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Fabregas was a member of the Gunners from 2003-2011, until moving to his hometown FC Barcelona, where he played until Mourinho brought him over to Chelsea in 2014.
“I love him. I always say that. I owe him a lot because he brought me here, I will always remember that,” Cesc Fabregas said of Jose Mourinho.
“My first year (in the Premier League), Arsene had always treated me like a son, but the closest anyone has been to him was Jose.
“The way he treated me, the way he made me feel, how he let me be a leader of the team from day one.”
“This was fantastic and in all the four years since I joined Chelsea now they will always stay with me. It is thanks to him.”
In his stints with the two giant London clubs, Fabregas has made 344 appearances and scored 50 goals. The Catalan spoke of his meetings against Mourinho, with two different clubs in two different countries, and how he developed a rivalry against the formidable opponent that he kept encountering.
Eventually, the rivalry turned into a close friendship.
“Our history of what happened between us: I played for Arsenal and him (managing) Chelsea, (playing for) Barcelona and him (managing) with Real Madrid, we were confronting each other, but then we humbled ourselves and started a good relationship,” the 31-year-old continued.
Mourinho and United are slightly favored in the FA Cup final, a match that provides the last opportunity for both sides to pick up their only trophy this season.
“This is very nice but hopefully it will not be his day and Chelsea can win,” Cesc Fabregas added.
FA Cup Final Odds via BetFair: Man Utd 8/5, Chelsea FC 19/10
Kickoff: 5:15 Local
Injury/Fitness Report for both teams: go to this link
United Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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