Alexa

A star at Arsenal, Fabregas already tiring of questions at Euro 2008 over his Spain role

A star at Arsenal, Fabregas already tiring of questions at Euro 2008 over his Spain role

Cesc Fabregas isn't used to this type of treatment.
The Spain midfielder, the engine in Arsenal's renowned attack, has failed to cement a position in coach Luis Aragones' starting 11 since making his debut for the national team more than two years ago.
The 21-year-old Fabregas is getting a little tired of constantly defending himself, especially with Spain's opening Group D match against Russia in the European Championship on Tuesday and he is not yet assured of making the starting lineup.
"It's not really bugging me, but it's always the same," Fabregas said Saturday. "I've spoken to the coach about this and I'm relaxed, everything is fine. I'm doing my best and that's all you can do."
The truth is, he has been edged out because of the depth of talent in Spain's midfield, especially in the central spots where Fabregas plays.
FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has become _ and is playing like _ an indispensable player, and with Aragones leaning toward a two-striker attack against Russia, the other central spot is likely to go to a more defensive-minded player like Xabi Alonso or Marcos Senna.
"Xavi is an incredible player. He plays so strongly in the middle; to play at his side is a phenomenal feeling," said Fabregas, who played with him at Barcelona's youth academy. "Xavi is used to playing in this type of system (at Barcelona). It's impossible not to connect the offense through him."
The camaraderie in Spain's squad shows in the practice sessions, where Fabregas and Xavi usually run through skills and passing drills together.
"Our unity is the strength of this group. I'm here for the coach when he needs me _ that's it," said Fabregas. "I want to play, when needed."
When Thierry Henry exited the north London club in 2007, Wenger nominated Fabregas as central to leading his Arsenal plans.
Fabregas, who is signed to the English club through 2014, was Arsenal's youngest first-team player and scorer, at age 16, and helped the Gunners reach its first Champions League final in 2006. Prior to that, Fabregas was named best player after leading Spain to the under-17 World Cup in 2003.
One glaring statistic is Fabregas' goal record for Spain. He hasn't scored in 26 games for the national team, compared to 13 goals in 45 games at Arsenal this season.
"I feel very good with my (Spain) teammates and I know it's a different type of football (to Arsenal), but I've always said that good football players have to adapt to that style," Fabregas said. "I've been here 2 1/2 years. For me, I've been well adapted."
Striker Fernando Torres has also had trouble transferring his scoring record to the national team. He has 15 goals in 49 games for Spain compared to 33 in 47 for Liverpool.
Fabregas, who has won an FA Cup trophy, did feature in both of Spain's warm-up games and even delivered the cross to Joan Capdevilla for his injury-time winning goal against Peru last week. This is his second major championship after playing at the World Cup in Germany two years ago.