Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has labelled Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger the "most important person" in his career.
The 26-year-old was signed by Wenger from the Barca youth team when he was 16, and worked his way through the Arsenal academy before making his first-team debut in 2003.
Fabregas made 303 appearances in eight years at the Premier League outfit before returning to Barca in 2011.
And the Spaniard's career has been littered with success - he has won La Liga, the Copa del Rey, FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, the European Championships twice and the World Cup.
Despite only winning one major trophy during his time in England, Fabregas credits Wenger as the most important influence on his career to date.
"I prefer not to talk too much about Arsenal because they are doing very well now," he said.
"All I can say is amazing words for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
"The most important figure to me was Arsene Wenger who 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."
He also expressed his pleasure at seeing Arsenal battling for the Premier League title this season, and added that he believes Mesut Ozil has been an excellent signing by his former mentor.
"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 yeah he probably is one of the reasons yeah."comments