Cesc Fabregas is expected to complete a move to Monaco this week after making his last Chelsea appearance in the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Fabregas captained the team against Nottingham Forest and left the field in the 85th minute to a standing ovation from Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.
After the final whistle in the game against Nottingham Forest, Fabregas returned to the field, where he applauded all four stands before leaving the pitch once and for all with tears in his eyes.
Defender David Luiz has revealed the players are sad to see Fabregas, one of the best players in England, leave Chelsea for Monaco. Luiz also revealed Fabregas gave a speech to his Chelsea teammates in the dressing room after the game.
Speaking to ESPN, Luiz said: “I think not just [emotional] for him, for everybody. One of the best players playing in England was him, everyone knows that.
“It’s sad for everybody when you lose this kind of player, this kind of person, but I think everybody has to stand up and clap because he deserves it.
“I think he won everything with this club. My memories are always going to be with the world-class player, with the great technique. He’s a great guy.
“He did a speech [in the dressing room] and then after that we all said thank you and hugged him.”
Asked what the content of the speech was, Luiz added: No, it’s not etiquette. If he wants to say, it’s going to be him, not me.
“It’s always difficult to lose players, especially like him, because like I say he’s a world-class player but also I understand it’s part of the process. If it’s better for him and better for the club, we have to understand that.”
Fabregas didn’t play regularly under Maurizio Sarri with the Italian tactician preferring a midfield three of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
Despite his lack of regular game time this season, Sarri insisted Fabregas was an important player in the squad because he was the only player technical enough in the squad to replace Jorginho in the central role.
Luiz also echoed Sarri’s thoughts about Fabregas.
“Even if he was not a regular this season, he was an important player for us — he had another great game [against Forest],” Luiz said.
“He has experience. He knows football. I think he had the opportunity to learn in many different changing rooms when he was so young, before, so he brings confidence, energy for the team, and then on the pitch he showed that it doesn’t matter the game, he’s always going to show his qualities.
“It’s sad. It’s really sad for us. We are wishing him all the best, because he deserves it.”