Cesar Azpilicueta has been one of Chelsea’s most reliable players over the years and is all set to be hailed as one of the Blues’ modern-day greats. Having graduated from the Osasuna academy, the Spaniard joined Marseille as a teenager, where he made a name for himself as an exciting prospect.
Chelsea came calling in 2012, as he joined the club for a fee believed to be in the region of £7 million. Azpilicueta quickly endeared himself to the fans with his grit and determination and has featured regularly under all the managers he has worked with at the club.
After John Terry’s departure, he took up more of a leadership role at the club and was officially appointed club captain in 2019. Now, at the age of 32, he is still going strong and is one of the most important players under Thomas Tuchel.
Azpilicueta is loved by Chelsea fans across the world and here are five of his finest moments at Stamford Bridge.
#5 Jose Mourinho’s brilliant comments on him in 2013
After Jose Mourinho’s arrival, Azpilicueta began growing in stature and eventually replaced Ashley Cole at left-back. He impressed his manager so much that Mourinho said he’d win the UEFA Champions League for the Blues if he had 10 more Azpilicueta’s in the team!
"Azpilicueta is the kind of player I like a lot. I think a team with 11 Azpilicuetas would probably win the competition (Champions League) because football is not just about pure talent"
The Spaniard was voted Chelsea’s Player of the Season at the end of the 2013-14 season, as he vindicated his manager’s faith in him in some style.
#4 First competitive goal for the club
Azpilicueta is good at many things on a football pitch, but goalscoring is not his strong suit. The Spaniard, however, scored a memorable first goal for the club, as he helped Chelsea secure a 2-0 win against arch-rivals Arsenal in the fourth round of the League Cup in 2013.
#3 Being named club captain for the 2019-20 season
After Gary Cahill’s departure, Azpilicueta was named club captain at Stamford Bridge, as he was rewarded for his performances and leadership qualities over the years. It proved to be an important moment in his career, as he took over the reins from an experienced figure like Cahill and went on to set an example at the club.
#2 Goal against Ajax in the memorable UCL comeback
In the 2019-20 season, Chelsea’s matchday four fixture against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League proved to be one for the history books. Chelsea were 4-1 down at Stamford Bridge after 55 minutes, as Frank Lampard’s side looked like they could be on the wrong end of a drubbing.
However, the Blues had other ideas, as they staged a stunning comeback to level the game. Azpilicueta made it 4-2 in the 63rd minute and the likes of Jorginho and Reece James got their names on the scoresheet to level the scoring.
Chelsea’s talismanic skipper capped off a stunning second-half display with a deserved goal, as the Blues salvaged a draw from the jaws of defeat.
#1 Captaining Chelsea to UEFA Europa League glory
The 2019 UEFA Europa League final proved to be a walk in the park for Chelsea, as they romped to a 4-1 victory against Arsenal at Baku. Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud stole the show on the night, but the game was a particularly memorable one for Azpilicueta, as he lifted his first trophy as Chelsea skipper.
The defender started the game as a right-back and produced a brilliant display, as he proudly lifted the trophy after the game.