Despite the fact that Cesar Azpilicueta had joined Chelsea as a right-sided defender, Jose Mourinho turned to the Spaniard when he needed someone to replace Ashley Cole at left-back.

Cesar Azpilicueta will be remembered as a Chelsea’s Legend


Cezar Azpilicueta was the player Antonio Conte turned to when he needed to switch to his preferred back three, despite the fact that he had previously only played as a typical full-back for Chelsea.

Even though some club members believed offering the armband to Eden Hazard could persuade him to stay, when Maurizio Sarri required a new captain to replace Gary Cahill, he turned to Azpilicueta.

The Spaniard joined without fanfare in 2012, but he has since become the player no manager could do without.

When Barcelona made a public bid for Azpilicueta last summer, Thomas Tuchel simply said ‘no’ and refused to let the player leave Chelsea, despite the fact that many thought his greatest days were already behind him.

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When Azpilicueta arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2012, he was a low-key Β£7 million signing from Marseille, and while it took the club’s fans a little time to appreciate the qualities of the man they affectionately nicknamed ‘Dave,’ it was love at first sight for all of his managers.

β€œAzpilicueta is the kind of player I like a lot,” Mourinho said in 2014. β€œI think a team with 11 Azpilicuetas probably could win the competition [the Champions League] because football is not just about the pure talent.

β€œFootball is also about character and personality, and Azpilicueta has all those traces of a winning personality.”

Those predictions came true, as Azpilicueta went on to win the Champions League with Chelsea and became the first player to do so before announcing his departure from the team on Thursday in an emotional farewell video.

Azpilicueta departs Chelsea as one of the team’s most unlikely greats after being granted a free transfer to rejoin Atletico Madrid in Spain.

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While Chelsea won the race to get Hazard this summer, the Spaniard has never been the team’s most brilliant player. As a result, his signing went nearly unnoticed.

However, it would be difficult to picture Chelsea winning any of the nine trophies he won, both at home and abroad, without him. He was the one who held things together and set the bar high both on and off the pitch.

Azpilicueta participated in every match of Chelsea’s 190 League games from August 2015 to May 2020, during which time they won the Premier League. He missed just four games overall.

The 33-year-old struggled to speak as he sobbed his way through his farewell speech to Chelsea’s fans, saying:

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β€œWhat a journey. Those moments that I take with me will last forever. This is my home and I hope to see everybody back here one day. The love they have showed me every single time is something that I’m really proud of. Hopefully, we can keep this relationship forever.”

Azpilicueta has left a lasting impression on Chelsea, and no Chelsea supporter will ever forget it. ‘Dave’ will always be remembered as the club legend.