By 1970’s Gooner
They are all Spanish speaking and they all started their football odyssey to stardom together in close friendship.
Cesc Fabregas used to play for his local junior side before he was spotted by the Barcelona scouts and whisked away to the junior sides of the big club.
That is where he met a young shy boy from Argentina called Lionel Messi who was trying to find his feet in a foreign country.
They were both in strange surroundings but had a common aim: To make it big in their chosen career in football.
They struck a close friendship which was interrupted when a London club under the tutelage of a Frenchman came beckoning for one of them.
Cesc Fabregas made it into the first team for Arsenal at the age of 16. So did Lilonel Messi for Barcelona.
They both have just now reached 21 but are hailed as the brightest stars to have emerged in the world of football in the last decade.
Messi really catapulted himself to world stardom when he scored that goal against Getafe.
It was so so similar to the goal that another world famous Argentinean, Diego Maradona, scored in the 1986 World Cup against England.
He ran about the same distance (62 metres), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before.
You can watch the video of both goals simultaneously in the Video Bar on the right of this page.
Fabregas really came of age when the great Patrick Vieira departed for pastures new. He has since bossed that midfield area with character, high technique and above all vision.
He has already played in one Champions League Final but the goal he scored this year, at the San Siro, which in effect knocked the holders of the trophy, AC Milan, out of the competition put him on the world stage.
He picked the ball up deep into midfield, went passed Gattuso with ease and struck a low 30 yard shot which sizzled passed the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand kissing the post into the net.
Both are expected to play a huge part next season in their respective clubs’ efforts to achieve dominance in their domestic and European leagues.
Dos Santos and Vela to follow?
In a similar kind of vein two young and aspiring Mexican footballers, both 19, are seeking to rise to similar stardom. And ironically enough, just like Fabregas and Messi, one of them belongs to Arsenal and the other to Barcelona.
Giovanni Dos Santos is a young Mexican kid who won the World 2005 U-17 World Cup managing to assist half of the goals of the Mexican team during the tournament.
This, combined with his overall contribution, resulted in the award for the Adidas Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, finishing behind the Brazilian Anderson.
There he struck a close friendship with another member of that team, Carlos Vela.
Carlos himself had become a pivotal figure during the match against Brazil, by defeating the South American team 3-0 during the tournament's final.
At the conclusion of the 2005 World Cup in Peru, Vela was named the top scorer of the tournament with 5 goals and claimed the Adidas Golden Boot.
They both then went to Spain. Dos Santos to his club Barcelona and Vela having impressed and signed for Arsene Wenger (in a £2.5m deal) on loan to Celta Vigo.
He was to begin what turned out a two year stint in Spain so as to obtain a Spanish passport.
They both finally made it into their respective first teams of Barcelona and Osasuna (Vela had moved on to Osasuna at the beginning of this season).
At the beginning of the 2007 season, Giovani received dual nationality and was included in the official first team squad.
He made his competitive and league debut in September during a 3-1 home win against Athletic Bilbao, coming on for Thierry Henry.
He made his Champions League debut in the same month during a 3-0 home win against Lyon. He came on as a substitute for Xavi in the 79th minute.
And in May of this year, Giovani scored a hat trick against Real Murcia, with a final score of 3-5, in Barcelona’s and outgoing Rijkaard’s last game of the season.
Carlos Vela himself started or participated in almost all of Osasuna’s relegation threatened season. He made 33 appearances scoring three goals and giving four assists.
Their international careers have followed a similar path too.
Hugo Sánchez, the ex-manager of the Mexican national team, called on both of them for the first time for exhibition games against Panama and Brazil in early September of this year.
Dos Santos made his debut against Panama on September 9, 2007.
Vela made his full international debut in a September 2007 friendly against Brazil and scored his first senior international goal in a friendly game against Guatemala in October.
In February of this year Vela started a friendly against USA (2-2) and was replaced by…. Giovani Dos Santos.
They are both currently with their national team preparing for two friendly games against Argentina in San Diego California (4th June) and against Peru four days later in Chigago.
Mexico will then face Belize in a double encounter on June 15th (in Houston) and on June 21st (in Monterrey, Mexico).
After this series of international games ends they both will probably face the sternest test of their careers.
Santos will return to Barcelona ready to fight for the right to become a first team regular in one of Europe’s strongest teams.
A team however which will be in transition following the departure of their Dutch coach Frank Rijkard.
Vela having obtained a UK work permit will for the first time go to the team that hold his registration.
He will, like Santos, fight for the right to gain a first team place in a team that will be trying once again to win its domestic championship.
He will also be trying to prove right the coach that believed in him. At the start of this season Arsene Wenger said of Vela:
"He's top class. I like his intelligence and his pace. He scores goals but he can also create them. "He's a special talent and I believe 100 per cent that he will make it at the highest level."
From what I have seen of both Santos and Vela in the Spanish league this season they both will.
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