Former world and European champion Cesc Fàbregas has joined Italian second-division club Como.
Fabregas, who won the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain in 2010, was introduced on Monday as a Como player after signing a two-year contract.
The small club, which is based on the shores of the picturesque Lake Como, finished 13th in the previous Serie B campaign in its first season and last played in Italy’s top flight almost 20 years ago.
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More than 100 fans waited to welcome Fabregas, who posed for selfies and signed autographs outside the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia.
“I come here with the same ambition as always: I want to play, I want to win and take Como to Serie A,” said Fabregas. “I still have a lot to do in football, I have a lot of ambition.”
The 35-year-old midfielder comes on a free transfer after his contract with Monaco expires in June. He has also played for Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea and has won many trophies in an illustrious career.
Fabregas said his unexpected move was not due to Como’s CEO – and former Chelsea player – Dennis Wise.
“There were many reasons,” he said. “It was the first time my contract expired, I wanted an experience that could excite and inspire me, Como has a long term project and it was exactly what I wanted, but credit goes to Dennis Wise That’s what inspired me to take this opportunity.
“The next challenge is always the most important. The next two years of my life will be devoted entirely to Como, both off the field, what matters to me is the development of this city.”
Fabregas will not be the only World Cup winner in Serie B, with former Italy great Gianluigi Buffon still playing in goal for Parma at the age of 44.
“I’m glad to face him again on the field, I’ve already scored two goals against him, why not give him a third past,” Fabregas said with a laugh.
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“The fact that there are two world champions shows that Serie B is at a high level.”
Como, which has been declared bankrupt and re-established twice over the past 18 years, has been owned by UK-based media and entertainment company SENT Entertainment Ltd since 2019.
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