Soccer

Pep Guardiola’s Cesc Fabregas handshake snub hinted at relationship breakdown

It's fair to say Cesc Fabregas has played under some of the very best managers of the modern era.

The Spanish central midfielder, now of Monaco, has had the privilege to learn from the likes of Arsene Wenger, Vicente del Bosque and Antonio Conte during a glittering playing career.

But perhaps the two most controversial coaches he has worked under were a certain Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

Fabregas won the Premier League under Mourinho at Chelsea, while he also enjoyed a highly successful spell with Guardiola at Barcelona.

But he has recently made it quite clear which of the two men he enjoys a better relationship nowadays.

Speaking on Catalunya Radio's Tot Costa programme, the 33-year-old said on Mourinho: "Mourinho inspired me the most when I left Barca.

"He told me about his project. I had to go where I thought I would do best, the decision was mine and it didn’t depend on what people said. I prioritised the professional [aspect], and today I still write to him and I consider him a friend."

In contrast, on Guardiola Fabregas said: "With Pep, nothing.

"He was my idol in my childhood and perhaps is the person from whom I’ve learned the most – as a player, an idol and a coach. That’s it."

This hints that, despite Fabregas' clear admiration for Guardiola as a manager, he has no time for him as a person.

And the first hint that there was a rift between the two came during Chelsea's win over Manchester City in 2016, while Fabregas represented the Blues.

At the full-time whistle after a heated game, Fabregas approached Guardiola to shake hands, but was completely blanked by the Catalan, who instead marched past the clearly baffled Chelsea man.

Some believe the pair's relationship began to deteriorate towards the end of Guardiola's spell at Barcelona.

Indeed, there is also footage of Guardiola shoving Fabregas in a heated exchange when he took the player off in a 5-1 win over Valencia in February 2012 – just months before he departed.

The reasons behind the duo's icy relationship is unclear, but one thing is for sure – they do not look like being on each others' Christmas card lists any time soon.

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