BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Cesc Fabregas has only had two practice sessions at Barcelona and already has won a trophy.
The Spain midfielder could hardly have asked for a better start, helping his boyhood club beat Real Madrid for the first time in five Spanish Supercup series involving the bitter rivals with a 3-2 victory Wednesday after a 2-2 draw in the first leg.
But that did not seem to affect Fabregas, who showed little sign that he'd only signed with Barcelona two days before, starting a single touch passing combination between Lionel Messi and right back Adriano that culminated with the Argentina star's late winner.
''It's great that after three days I can win the first trophy,'' Fabregas said after a victory lap with his new teammates. ''It's a great moment especially against Real Madrid. It's the biggest derby in the world and I am very happy to be a part of it.''
The trophy must be satisfying for a player who cited the lack of titles with Arsenal as his main reason for wanting to come back to Barcelona.
Within days the 24-year-old Fabregas has already equaled his trophy haul in eight years in England. He had very limited playing time when Arsenal won the English league in his first season, and his only major trophy was an FA Cup title.
But perhaps equally important for Fabregas, the crowd at Camp Nou stadium dispelled his fears that there might be some lingering resentment that he'd left for the Premier League all those years ago.
The 90,000 plus fans greeted the homegrown Catalan player with the loudest cheers during the pre-game introduction and gave him an ovation when he entered the game in the 83rd minute.
''It's like I never left. I want to thank everyone who made this possible,'' Fabregas said when he signed on Monday. ''It's not easy for a club to regain its trust in a player who left from its youth team.''
After shaking off some initial jitters, Fabregas slipped right into sync with a squad packed with teammates from the world and European champion Spanish national team.
''I am very happy that he can fit in such a short time,'' Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. ''Cesc gives us a different timing in our play, more verticality. We play with short spaces, while he plays long.''
In those few minutes of action Wednesday, Fabregas showed the kind of playmaking that enticed the European champions to agree to a transfer deal that could cost them ?39 million ($56 million).
Fabregas even got a taste of the how embittered the rivalry between Barcelona and Madrid has become when Marcelo took him out with a low tackle that earned the Madrid defender a red card in the dying moments.
''These are two great teams and the rivalry is very strong,'' Fabregas said, putting ice on his right knee. ''These are things that happen and will always happen in football.''
But Messi's dominance of the match with a pair of goals and an assist to Andres Iniesta, along with Xavi's steady hand in midfield, made it clear that Fabregas will have to get used to sharing the playing time.
Fabregas, however, appears to understand his new role.
''I only wanted to help the team win,'' Fabregas said. ''I really enjoyed the 10 minutes I had.''