Cesc Fabregas says it is “impossible” to pick between former clubs Chelsea and Arsenal in the Europa League final – despite the fact he could end up with a winners’ medal if the Blues triumph.
The London rivals go head-to-head in Azerbaijan on Wednesday evening, with Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery both looking to end their first seasons in English football with silverware.
Fabregas is in Baku for the match between two clubs he knows well, having spent eight years with Arsenal and then joined Chelsea in 2014 following a spell back at boyhood club Barcelona.
A lack of regular football led the 32-year-old to join Monaco at the start of the year, but the midfielder featured heavily during the Blues’ Europa League group stage matches before the move.
Asked if would have split loyalties on Wednesday, Fabregas told Press Association Sport: “Yeah, definitely in a way. They are two great clubs that gave me a lot in my career.
“Obviously I was with Chelsea very recently.
“Three months ago I was playing with all these players, team-mates. We won a lot together, I had great times with the fans, with the club, so that’s definitely a big thing.
“Arsenal – what can I say? I spent probably the best years of my life there.
“The connection I had with the fans is something you don’t see very, very often.
“Even though we didn’t win as much with Chelsea, we didn’t have probably the team that we had here, but we competed very well, every year we made the Champions League, competing even in finals.
“If you ask me to choose, I think it would be impossible for me to choose.
“But, as I said, I have great, great memories with both teams.”
While Fabregas has divided loyalties for the Baku Olympic Stadium encounter, he could still end the night with a winners’ medal.
The winners are presented with 40 medals and the runners-up 40 silver medals, with UEFA leaving it to each club to decide how they distribute them.
“I played six games, the whole group stage,” said Fabregas, speaking on behalf of official Europa League partners Amstel.
“I captained the team twice, I have a few assists here and there.
“To be honest, I don’t really mind about the fact if I get a medal or not, but definitely you do feel a part of it.”