By Richard Clarke
Cesc Fabregas is scared of no-one in the Champions League.
Early indications suggest the Spanish midfielder could be back for the Qualification Round second leg tie against Twente on Wednesday.
Only when passage is safely secured will the 21-year-old properly look forward to a lengthy run in the competition. But over the past three years, Arsenal have always gone beyond the Group Stage and came within 13 minutes of winning the trophy in 2006.
And so, speaking at the announcement of Arsenal’s Charity of the Season, Fabregas argued there’s no reason why his side cannot go one better this season.
“We don’t have to be afraid of anyone,” he said. “ I think we’ve seen in the last few seasons we can beat anybody so you have to be positive. You have to believe that you can do it again, at least make it to the Final.
“I’ve played a few Finals now and you can see that anything can happen you can play well you can play not well, you can win and lose. Certainly you have to make it there, I think we have the quality and experience to do it and we are looking forward to it.”
Before Euro 2008 this summer, the biggest final in which Fabregas has featured was the Champions League showpiece in 2006 against Barcelona. Arsenal had Jens Lehmann sent off early on and then took a shock lead through Sol Campbell. A fairy-tale victory seemed on the cards until Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti struck in the close stages.
Surprisingly the game does NOT hang heavy in the mind of Fabregas.
“It’s probably the Final that I think about less,” he remarked. “I don’t know why.
“I think maybe because it was the one that we played better and the one we showed more desire. We were all devastated after that Final but I must say after that game we realised that Arsenal was a big club and we could compete against anyone.
“We were playing the final against Barcelona with one player less in the first five or 10 minutes they didn’t come back until the last 10 minutes. So it was really impressive and we were devastated but at the same time we felt proud for the fans and for ourselves because what we did was quite amazing.”Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 26 Aug 2008