I played 350 Premier League games for Arsenal and Chelsea - I learned a lot from one opponent

Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas says Steven Gerrard is the toughest opponent he ever faced -Credit:Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Former Arsenal and Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas has named Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as the toughest opponent he faced during his time in the Premier League.

Fabregas, who is widely viewed as one of the finest midfielders to play in the English top flight, boasts an impressive trophy collection from his time with Arsenal, Chelsea and his time in La Liga with Barcelona, as well as a remarkable international career with Spain.

The 36-year-old recently hung up his boots after a glittering player career that saw him clinch two Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey, as well as two European Championships either side of the 2010 World Cup. While he is fondly remembered by most of his former clubs, his move to London rivals Chelsea in 2014 did ruffle some feathers among the Arsenal faithful.

During his two stints in the Premier League, Fabregas faced off against some of the greatest talents the league has ever seen. However, one player stands out among the rest - Liverpool's iconic captain, Gerrard.

"I always felt he had everything in his locker," Fabregas revealed to SPORTbible when asked about his toughest Premier League opponent. "He could dictate play, he could score goals, do assists, make runs in behind. Offensively he was very strong.

"You always felt that when you were coming up against him you had to be at the top of your game otherwise you would be in trouble, because he was very consistent. He was always an eight, seven, eight, seven [out of 10].

"For me he was a role model and someone, looking back, I really appreciate playing against. I learned a lot from him."

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Fabregas went on to discuss Euro 2024 and identified what La Roja need if they are to go far in the competition. The Spaniard was asked which England player he would steal for his national side and there was little hesitation.

"I would go for more of an offensive players, more of a number 10. I think I would go for Foden," Fabregas added. "A Phil Foden type of player, I think we need it in Spain."

Despite their stellar recent history in the competition, Spain are not viewed as one of the favourites to go all the way this summer. Both England and France are tipped to be the two battling it out for the status of champions.