Cesc Fabregas’ final game in English football did not quite go as planned last Saturday. Having been handed the captain’s armband for the FA Cup third round victory over Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge, Fabregas had the chance for a fairy-tale ending to his glorious time in England when Chelsea were awarded a penalty.However, a stuttered run-up gave Luke Steele the chance to save his spot-kick. Chelsea still went on to win the game 2-0, though, and Fabregas was given a standing ovation when he was substituted later in the game.He now moves on to Monaco, coached by his former Arsenal colleague Thierry Henry, having been understandably unwilling to continue as a deputy to Jorginho at Chelsea. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? English football’s loss is French football’s gain and he will be a crucial addition to a Monaco side fighting against relegation from Ligue 1.It is an unusual situation for Fabregas to find himself in as he has spent a decade-and-a-half dominating midfields for trophy-chasing sides.In fact, few from his generation have shown the ability to pass a ball like Fabregas – who has the second highest number of assists in Premier League history, behind only Ryan Giggs.Having learned his trade at the legendary La Masia academy in Barcelona, alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, it was Arsenal who ultimately poached him as a 16-year-old.Arsene Wenger was the true making of Fabregas, helping him to adapt to the professional game and allowing him to flourish in a new city in London.Wenger is someone Fabregas sees as a father figure, giving him his debut at 16 years and 177 days and the Arsenal captaincy at 21. The Spaniard repaid his boss’s faith by providing an FA Cup and the club’s best ever Champions League performance when they finished runners-up in 2006.Ultimately he returned to Barcelona, his boyhood club, to fulfil a dream and play for his idol in Pep Guardiola. Despite being effective, Fabregas was an outsider in that dressing room but left having secured every major honour apart from the Champions League, the only big title that has escaped Fabregas’ clutches.With Spain, he secured legendary status by providing the assist that won his country their first and only World Cup. Indeed, it was a Fabregas cross-field ball which Andres Iniesta slammed home against Netherlands in the final in South Africa in 2010. Fabregas also secured back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012 during the country’s golden era.Jose Mourinho would then make Fabregas feel wanted as the midfielder returned to English football and it was a successful partnership as they won the Premier League title in 2014-15.Under the more intense Antonio Conte he was forced to adapt his game. Despite moving into the latter stages of his career, Fabregas was asked to cover more ground and be strong in the tackle. Fabregas picked up another Premier League title under Conte and dug in to win over his new boss, despite many predicting his departure from Stamford Bridge.That ability to be a master of reinvention is what kept him relevant , as use of technical central midfielders fell out of fashion for a while in the Premier League.Current Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is another who changed Fabregas, asking him to become a regista and dictate play from deep areas. Sarri wanted to keep the Spaniard but, despite admiring Sarri’s football philosophy, Fabregas was unwilling to play the role of substitute.Consequently, the FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest was his Chelsea swan-song. It was, incredibly, his 501st appearance in English football. During that time he has also scored 79 goals, won two Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, a League Cup, Community Shield, been the EPL’s top assist provider for a season on three occasions and in the PFA Team of the Year twice.”It feels like it was last week I started playing professionally and now it is over 15 years,” a reflective Fabregas told Chelsea’s official website.”It is a long time but for the young players when they start playing, my little advice is to enjoy it every single second because it goes so fast.”In football you have to be ready every three days, you have to live with criticism, you have to live with everyone saying how good you are – up and downs – and you just think I am young, I have time but time really does fly, so enjoy every single second of it.”All true football fans – especially those of a Chelsea and Arsenal persuasion – have certainly enjoyed watching Fabregas over the last 15 years. He will be remembered as an all-time legend of English football and, at the age of just 31, he still has some magic left in his boots to delight Monaco and Ligue 1 supporters. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Stellar Diamonds has signed a legally binding conditional Tribute Mining Agreement and Revenue Share Agreement with Octea Mining Ltd in respect of the Tongo-Tonguma kimberlite diamond project in eastern Sierra Leone. Background and highlights of the agreements and the project:Deal creates the potential for substantial near and long term cash flows for StellarProject hosts one of the highest value kimberlite ore bodies in Africa on a dollar/t basis and would create the second largest kimberlite diamond mine in West AfricaAgreements allow for mining the combined and contiguous Tongo and Tonguma concessionsRobust attributable potential post-tax project NPV(8) and IRR of $104 million and 31% respectivelyModest mine development CAPEX in first two years estimated at $32 million (including 15% contingency)Estimated 21 year mine life, producing over 4.5 Mct with estimated revenues over $1.5 billionProject at full production estimated to generate $45 million gross revenue per annum(2.2 Mct/y at a weighted average value of $229/ctResource statements, mine plan, financial model, CPR, all completed by independent consultants10% share of gross revenues (after deduction of Government royalty) payable to Octea on diamond and other minerals recovered and sold, once Stellar has recouped an amount equal to its CAPEX investment and Octea has received an initial revenue share payment of $5 millionStellar to make a one-off payment of $5.5 million to Octea five years after project mine development commencesOn completion, Stellar will acquire a 50 t/h kimberlite processing plant from Octea for a nominal amount in order to fast track productionStellar’s has invested $7.2 million to date on establishing resources at Tongo, equivalent to some £0.14 per Stellar share.Chief Executive Karl Smithson commented: “We are delighted to have signed these agreements with Octea which, subject to completion, will allow Stellar to build a single mine for the simultaneous commercial production from the contiguous Tongo (Stellar) and Tonguma (Octea) kimberlite deposits. The combined project has an initial 4.5 Mct resource which, due to the high grade (100 to 260 ct/100 t at +1.18 mm) and high quality diamonds ($209/ct to $310/ct), is considered to be one of the highest value kimberlite orebodies in Africa on a dollar per tonne basis. The 21 year mine plan with a consistent output of over 200,000 ct/y at full production would quantify this development as the second largest kimberlite diamond mine in West Africa. The project also has a very modest two year capital requirement of just under $32 million to get into full scale commercial production. Stellar has the strong support of all main stakeholder groups in Sierra Leone for this mine development, which would have a very positive impact in terms of employment, local infrastructure development and future taxation revenue for the country.”