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It was an emotional day for Cesc Fabregas, who played his final game for Chelsea on Saturday afternoon after four successful years at the club.
Fabregas, who won a Premier League title at Stamford Bridge, left the pitch in tears when he was substituted in their FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest, giving the captain's armband to David Luiz moments before coming off.
Tributes from players and fans flooded social media during and after the game, including a brilliant post from former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
The pair went head-to-head on a number of occasions down the years, especially during the often heated battles of the mid 2000's, when Arsenal and Manchester United were the biggest of rivals.
Farewell to Chelsea :blue_heart:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 5, 2019
Farewell to England :wave:
After over 500 appearances in English football, Cesc Fàbregas bids an emotional goodbye :clap: pic.twitter.com/BJq7IHnnjT
Despite their rivalry, Ferdinand has sent a fitting message to the Spanish midfielder.
"When he first came onto the scene at Arsenal, this kid played like a seasoned veteran. He was calm, assured and had guile. As well as the belief that he was absolutely ready to play." he wrote on Instagram earlier.
"Yes he was playing very early but he was also creating chances/goals which was on top of the things I mentioned above that really set him apart from just a young kid playing in the 1st team in the Premier League.
"He went on to have a great career for clubs and country. I got to spend some time with him off the pitch during this years World Cup and he's a top guy too.
"Good luck in whatever club you decide to go to, Cesc Fabregas."
Ahead of Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, Blues boss Maurizio Sarri revealed that he wanted Fàbregas to stay at the club.
"In this position we have only two players, Jorginho and Fàbregas, so for me it would be really a problem without Cesc," he said (via Sky Sports).
"I want him to stay, I don't know the final decision of Cesc and the club, of course.
"But for me it's very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it's not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player.
"And I think that in the market it's very difficult to find a player with his characteristics."
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