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EPL legends Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas reminisce: David Silva praise, Arsenal memories and Spain's midfield

  • During a Puma Q&A, the two EPL legends reminisced on their days together at Arsenal, praise for David Silva and more
  • Multiple EPL record holder Henry also spoke at length about Fabregas' technical abilities, compared with his compatriots
Mo Omi
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Modified 15 May 2020, 00:52 IST

Fabregas and Henry played together for four years in the Premier League with Arsenal
Fabregas and Henry played together for four years in the Premier League with Arsenal

English Premier League ( EPL ) legends Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas spoke at length in a Q&A on Puma's Instagram page about a range of topics: praise for Manchester City's David Silva, memories during their time at Arsenal and remembering Spain's midifeld core. 

Henry, appointed Montreal Impact head coach last November, revealed his MLS side are not allowed to train individually as they reside in Canada's worst-affected coronavirus region. So to pass the time, he spoke to an old friend and former EPL teammate on Thursday.

Fabregas, who spent four years together with Thierry in the Premier League between 2003-07, quickly burst onto the scene in north London and Henry had fond memories to share.

"I saw the team and saw you. Patrick [Vieira] and Gilberto [Silva] - oh my gosh, all the best [players]. Then you started to move the ball around, one-twos, Patrick and Gilberto couldn't get near you. That's when we knew: 'he can play with us,' straight away. 
"You went on to play in the Carling Cup, scored and the rest was history. People don't mention it, they're talking about Kevin de Bruyne right now... David Silva, unbelievable players but for me, you're there with them." 

Henry meanwhile made a triumphant return to EPL with Arsenal at the start of 2012, where he scored three goals in seven games - two further strikes against Blackburn and Sunderland.

EPL legend Fabregas had his work cut out

Although Fabregas will be remembered as an EPL legend long after he retires, the 33-year-old revealed the areas of his game that he had to continually work on - otherwise he would not have made a senior breakthrough aged 16.

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Henry was frank in his assessment of Cesc's abilities, describing him as someone who wasn't "fast or particularly strong," but importantly, his football brain ruled supreme - just like Silva with EPL champions City.

"I often get annoyed at how people don't recognise how clever a player is. I've played with a lot but your brain is up there with the best but what do you see on the field? It seems you always have time on the ball."

The former EPL midfielder Fabregas replied, saying:

"When you're not quick or strong, you have to think quicker and react quicker with my mind. I was not someone with big agility either so had to rely on playing quickly, playing smart but grew up being decisive: giving the last ball, being grateful playing with players like you who made it easy to play the killer pass." 

EPL brilliance reflected in Spain's dominance

Fabregas was a key cog as Spain won Euro 2012 during a golden generation for the country
Fabregas was a key cog as Spain won Euro 2012 during a golden generation for the country

They continued by discussing the strength in depth that Spain had during a golden generation at international level, bolstered by Premier League players like Fabregas and Silva but also Barcelona's trio too - Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba. 

Henry said it was impressive to see them evolve over time: "At one point, Spain wasn't winning anything. Barca, Real were struggling in the 90s, you [as a nation] reinvented yourself. 

Cesc meanwhile, said the moment which opened his eyes was during 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the Euro 2012 Final:

"We played with six midfielders when we won the Euros, that day made me see that wow, intelligence is so important because we're playing without a striker." 

Henry duly agreed:

"You were on another level, you could have played with 11 midfielders! If you pass and keep it well, there's nothing anyone can do. It was football at its best."

Both these players left a lasting impact on the English Premier League ( EPL ). Thierry Henry is widely regarded as one of the greatest foreign players to have played in the league, having won 4 EPL Golden Boot trophies during his tenure with Arsenal first time around. The French legend also holds the record for most EPL assists in a single season, a record that has been threatened a few times but is yet to be breached. For Cesc Fabregas, his EPL journey came to a completion when he finally managed to win the EPL title but not with the club that he grew up in but with Chelsea in 2014-2015 season. He did win a second title just one season after his first in 2016-2017 before moving out of England for good in winter transfer window of 2019.


Published 15 May 2020, 00:45 IST
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