Cesc Fabregas has admitted that it ‘annoys’ him when critics call him lazy, and concedes that perhaps he is only appreciated for his goals.
The former Arsenal man has come in for some criticism from the Blaugrana fans this season, and the midfielder has claimed that sometimes it is unwarranted.
“Yeah, of course I am [aware people call me lazy],” he told AS.
“I know I have that reputation and it annoys me, because I don’t stop moving around the whole pitch. Perhaps too much, because by moving so much it seems like I’m nowhere.
“Maybe [I’m only appreciated for my goals]. But, after the game against Villarreal, which I admit was my weakest match of the season so far, I was happy because I had played a part in the move that led to the [second] goal.
“But when people don’t see it like that you have no option but to put up with it.
I don’t want to get into [whether it’s because I’m a youth team graduate] because when it is published it can be interpreted in many ways. Let’s say that at Barça the same is demanded of everyone.”
The Spain international then commented on his move as a youngster to north London.
“There’s a difference between my case and that of Rafinha [Alcantara] and [Gerard] Deulofeu. It’s an intelligent move to send players out on loan. At that age, what you have to do is play.
“My case was different. That was a strange time for the club, a period in which the club was on a losing run, and so, on an individual level, it’s logical that you look at getting the best for yourself. I saw people like Gerard [Piqué], Marc Valiente or Messi being moved up the ranks, [but] I wasn’t.
“There wasn’t the same confidence in me as there was in the others and you notice that. And, quite apart from that, I never thought I was going to be a footballer.
“[I] Never [thought I could make it], not even when I reached the ‘Cadete’ level at Barça [in the club’s youth set-up]. What you want, what you dream about, is one thing; but I was more focused on studying, on my friends. On leading a normal life for a 16-year-old.
“I was very young and I couldn’t see myself making a living being a footballer. Though I was aware that it was an opportunity to make the most of, because [Arsenal manager Arsène] Wenger told me I was going to train with the first team every day and that I was going to play in the reserves.”
Cesc was then asked is the Barca team needed freshening up.
“The team has a lot of quality, so this group is sure to stay up there in every competition. But, when I signed, Pep said to me: “Now you’re in the same position as everyone else. These players have won everything, but that counts for nothing and we start from zero.”
“That’s the message: knowing that every season is a new start and that [Martín] Montoya is in the same position as [Dani] Alves. There are a number of legendary players like Xavi, [Carles] Puyol, etc. and time unfortunately goes by for them, too. The game is more and more aggressive, and there’s a very busy fixture schedule. We’re going to have to adapt, but that’s a decision for Zubi [sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta] and the president [Sandro Rosell].”