'A father figure to me' - Fabregas in classy tribute to Wenger after Arsenal announcement

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The former Gunners midfielder left a message on his Instagram page dedicated to the Frenchman, insisting he deserves "all the respect in the world"

Cesc Fabregas has posted a tribute to Arsene Wenger on his Instagram page, hailing the Arsenal boss as a father figure and insisting that he deserves "all the respect in the world" following his decision to leave the Gunners.

Wenger announced on Friday that he will be standing down as manager of the north London club this summer, bringing an end to a spell that has spanned almost 22 years.

The Frenchman signed Fabregas from Barcelona back in 2003 and helped turn him into one of Europe's top midfield players before he ended his Gunners career and returned to Barca in 2011.

Now playing for Arsenal's Premier League rivals Chelsea, Fabregas hasn't forgotten Wenger's influence on his career, writing on Instagram: "Wow. I never expected that but it shows the great dignity and class of the man.

"I will never forget his guidance and support, his tutelage and mentorship. He had faith in me from day one and I owe him a lot, he was like a father figure to me who always pushed me to be the best.

"Arsene, you deserve all the respect and happiness in the world. #classact"

Wenger won three Premier League titles during his time in charge of Arsenal, as well as seven FA Cup triumphs and the same number of Community Shield victories.

Fabregas claimed one FA Cup and a Community Shield while he was with Wenger's side, before going on to win a total of six trophies with Barca, and two Premier League titles and a League Cup with Chelsea.

He could win his first FA Cup medal with the Blues this season too, with Antonio Conte's men preparing for Sunday's semi-final meeting with Southampton at Wembley.

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