Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas' ability to spot a match-winning pass has earned him a place in Guinness World Records 2019.
The World Cup winner is in the record books for the Fastest time to achieve 100 assists in the Premier League, reaching the tally in just 293 games.
To give some perspective, that’s 74 matches sooner than Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs who is second on the list with 367 games.
Fàbregas’ record-breaking assist came on 31 December 2016 when he set up Brazilian midfielder Willian’s second goal in Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Stoke City.
"I’m not the fastest, I'm not the strongest, I'm not the most flexible, I don’t jump high," he said with a smile. "But to achieve this record in my career is one of the proudest things in my job, because it is my job and I did it well."
Fàbregas made his Premier League debut at Arsenal in 2004 when he was just 16 years old. His ability to play in tight spaces and still create chances led to a move to his boyhood club, Barcelona in 2011.
Three years later he returned to London with Chelsea and has gone on to win the Premier League twice since joining.
He credits the sharp training he received in the Barcelona youth team, and the training he received at Arsenal, where having only ever played with kids at Barcelona, albeit a youth team including Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, he found himself amongst world class, experienced professionals and was instantly inspired.
"In the middle of training, I’d just have my mouth open. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The first touches of Dennis Bergkamp, the finishing of Thierry Henry, the presence of Patrick Vieira, I was very fortunate.”
That training paid off for his most famous assist; threading the pass for Andrés Iniesta to score the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.
"It was not the most beautiful, not the most amazing assist. But a simple pass broke the line… and it got us the World Cup," he recalls.
Not content with one Guinness World Records title, Fàbregas has achieved a second – this time away from the football pitch and on the set of Sky 1's A League of Their Own. Appearing alongside show regular and former England and Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp in July 2017, Fàbregas became the joint holder of the Most volley passes in 30 seconds by a pair with 15.
But Fàbregas isn't the only footballer in this year's annual.
Among the other footballing record-breakers to appear in Guinness World Records 2019 are:
- Mo Salah (Most goals scored by a player in a Premier League season – 32 and Most games scored in during a Premier League season – 24)
- Harry Kane (Most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year – 39 and Most Premier League hat-tricks in a calendar year – 6)
- Manchester City (Highest points total in a Premier League season by a team – 100, Most matches won in a Premier League season by a team – 32, Most goals scored in a Premier League season (team) – 106 and Most consecutive wins in the Premier League – 18)
Pick up a copy of Guinness World Records 2019 to read more about record-breaking sports stars from around the world.