Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas has labelled Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger the "most important person" in his career.
The 26-year-old midfielder was signed by the Frenchman from the Barca youth team when he was just 16 and quickly worked his way through the Gunners academy before making his first-team debut in 2003.
In total, Fabregas spent eight years in north London before returning to Camp Nou and though he only managed to life one piece of silverware at Arsenal, the 2005 FA Cup, he remains indebted to the club and their long-serving coach.
"I prefer not to talk too much about Arsenal because they are doing very well now," the Spain international said of the Gunners, who are currently challenging for the Premier League title.
"All I can say are amazing words for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
"The most important figure to me was Arsene Wenger. I have to be grateful all my life to him and that's it.
"For me he is the most important person, he knows everything about me and that's the person that I owe nearly everything."
Fabregas also took time out to defend the under-fire Mesut Ozil, claiming that the Germany international has played an integral role in Arsenal's resurgence this season.
"They are doing very well and I am very happy for them," he added. "I just wish them the very best.
"He [Ozil] is a good player. He's a very good assisting player, so he is one of the reasons [that Arsenal are challenging]."