AS Monaco’s Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas opened up to the US news channel CNN in a video interview in which he spoke about a wide variety of topics.

The world and European champion, who has played nearly 800 career games to date, started the interview by telling a personal story of his grandmother who tested positive for COVID-19 twice. “She was worried and she even told me it was over. I told her that she had to stay optimistic because you never know what’s going to happen in life. And she is still here with us,” he explained. Talking about his lockdown experience, Cesc Fabregas mentioned how he used the time to enjoy his family even if he was frustrated with the late resumption of trainings: “I was also very jealous of remaining a spectator when the teams from other leagues resumed competition. I think the other leagues have shown a lot of discipline, professionalism and that we could have done things differently here in France as well.”

Racism and homophobia: is football ready to change?

Racism in football was an important subject raised during the interview. After 17 years on the field, Cesc Fabregas explained that while he had never witnessed racism inside clubs, he was always aware of its existence in the stadiums. “maybe we haven’t all had the courage to stand up to speak out against this until now,” he admitted. But with the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the player is convinced that thing are changing. “We don’t have the right to give up or back down… even if the racism won’t go away overnight” he insists, adding: ““When I hear Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford speak … they are legends. We have to listen to them. You learn so much from young people like them. They are an example to society and to all of us.”

The same applies to accepting homosexuality in football. Cesc Fabregas thinks this should be the next issue to overcome. “I understand why they are scared of coming out, because they feel alone (…) It’s a very complicated subject to tackle, especially if you’re a young player. It’s up to experienced players to help them express themselves,” concluded AS Monaco‘s midfielder.