Cesc Fàbregas eyes Champions League success after Liga slip-up
Barcelona's Cesc Fàbregas is determined to help the Catalan side become the first team to retain the Champions League this term
Cesc Fàbregas is targeting Champions League glory in his first season at Barcelona after admitting his side have let their La Liga title “slip away”.
Pep Guardiola’s men all but booked their place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition with a 3-1 last-16 first-leg win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, thanks to Alexis Sánchez’s brace and Lionel Messi’s late strike.
The victory comes after Barça suffered a shock 3-2 defeat at Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday to leave the Catalan side 10 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid in the Primera División table.
But Fàbregas, who re-joined his boyhood club from Arsenal in the summer, insists he is now focused on helping his side become the first team to retain the Champions League.
“What happened in Pamplona was a disappointment because we let the league slip away, but the Champions Leauge is the most beautiful competition there is,” he said.
“The Champions League is difficult [to win] because the best teams in Europe compete for the title.”
Reflecting on Barcelona’s win in Germany on Tuesday, the 24-year-old continued: “There were reasons we played like we did in the first half: they are a very physical team. Perhaps this kind of play is a bit boring but that’s the kind of play we needed to employ.
“We’re always excited [to play] even though it can appear otherwise from the outside. The team always has the same level of excitement and the same motivation. The boss won’t let us give up.
“They can complicate the whole game with one counter-attack but we dominated the situation. We’re very pleased. ”