Azpilicueta: I’m really happy how things are going for me at Chelsea
Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta was in Pamplona on Thursday, lending his support to the club where he began his career, Osasuna. He also spoke about his joy at the possibility of representing Spain at the World Cup in Brazil, having been named in the provisional squad.
There was a surprise guest at the Tajonar training complex in Pamplona on Thursday, as Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta arrived to give encouragement to friends and former colleagues that remain at Osasuna, ahead of their life or death match against Real Betis this weekend.
With the season in England having already finished, Azpilicueta has taken the opportunity to take a few days off in his home-town and cheer on his old club. He also feels that their spirit will will be the biggest plus, ahead of such a crucial game.
“There’s always been a strong spirit here and that will never go away. It’s a difficult situation right now, which I’ve also experienced during my time here, but hopefully everything will turn out okay.”
“They need to go out there and get stuck into the game. Betis aren’t playing for anything and Osasuna are playing for their lives in the Primera, so that’s the only way they can pull this off. In games like this, there needs to be a good balance between the what you feel in your mind and your heart.”
Azpilicueta also spoke about his selection by Vicente Del Bosque, in the provisional thirty-man squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil, hopeful that he’ll make the final cut, when the list is reduced to twenty-three players.
“I’m delighted. It’s a dream for any player to be at the World Cup and hopefully I’ll get the chance to go there. There’s so many quality players in the squad, but it’s a dream for me to be in the Spain squad and hopefully I’ll get to play at the World Cup.”
Flexibility and an ability to occupy a number of positions and roles, has proven useful to Chelsea this season and could be for Spain too. That versatility could indeed work in his favour, when Vicente Del Bosque makes his final squad announcement, even though he highlighted his primary position.
“It may well do. It’s important for me to feel useful to the team, in whichever position the manager wants me to play. Most of the time I’ve played as a left-back. About 80% of this season, I’ve played at left-back.”
Strong performances for Chelsea throughout the season, earned him the reward of being named their player of the season. Such recognition pleases Azpilicueta, although he admitted he’d readily swap such awards for trophies for Mourinho’s team.
“I prefer collective honours and we’ve been knocking on the door for those all season. I’m very happy with the award though. It’s a pleasure to receive an award that’s voted for by your team-mates, because they’re the ones you’re working alongside, day after day. It shows that they value the work I’ve been doing.”
Of his performances, Azpilicueta admitted it hadn’t been the best start to the season in terms of games, but once he saw more action in the team, he was content with what he managed to offer the team.
“At the beginning I wasn’t playing as often as I’d have liked, but from October things started to turn around for me and I played a lot of games. The truth is, I’m really happy how things are going for me at Chelsea. I’m also happy with how my career has been going, since I left Osasuna.”