Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas announced his retirement from soccer on Saturday at the age of 36 — nearly 20 years after making his debut for Arsenal as a 16-year-old.

The 2010 World Cup winner made the announcement on Twitter, one year into a two-year contract he signed last summer with Italian second-division team Como.

“It is with great sadness that the time has come for me to hang up my playing boots,” Fabregas said.

After joining Arsenal from Barcelona’s youth academy, he became the London club’s youngest player when he made his debut in a League Cup game in October 2003 at the age of 16 years, 177 days.

He went on to become Arsenal captain but left the club to return to Barcelona in 2011, a year after after helping Spain win the World Cup in South Africa.

He was also a part of the Spain teams that won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

Spain wins 1st title: No. 10 | Most Memorable Moments in World Cup History

Spain wins 1st title: No. 10 | Most Memorable Moments in World Cup History

At Barcelona he won the 2012-13 Spanish league title but left the club to return to the Premier League with Chelsea a year later, helping the Blues to the league crown in 2015 and 2017.

He moved to French league club Monaco in 2019, where he played 68 times before signing for Como last summer.

“From my first days at Barca, Arsenal, Barca again, Chelsea, Monaco and Como, I will treasure them all,” Fabregas wrote. “From lifting the World Cup, the Euros, to winning everything in England and Spain and nearly all the European trophies, it has been a journey that I’ll never forget.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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