Cesar Azpilicueta declares he has stayed ‘at home’ by signing contract extension at Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta declares he has stayed ‘home’ by signing contract extension with Chelsea amid interest from Barcelona but admits he considered leaving after Club World Cup victory
Cesar Azpilicueta says he stayed ‘home’ by signing a Chelsea contract extension, but admits their Club World Cup victory, which saw him win every possible trophy for the club, prompted him to take on a new challenge consider.
Captain Azpilicueta signed a two-year deal last week to put an end to doubts about his future at Barcelona as he was keen to sign him this summer.
He was due to expire his contract at the end of last season before being given a one-year extension after achieving a pre-arranged number of appearances in March.
Cesar Azpilicueta expressed joy after deciding to stay ‘home’ at Chelsea
The 32-year-old defender said: ‘I am very happy. Of course, the last few months have been crazy. It felt good to continue my journey here in a new project and I’m really looking forward to the new season.
“It is true that it is a very rare situation. I was a free agent for a period and who knows what could have happened during that period. I had a contract until March. I’ve played the games [to trigger a one year renewal] but the club was still under sanctions so anyone can speak for you and your name.
“I decided to shut up because I think there was enough noise around me already.
Azpilicueta considered leaving after Chelsea won the Club World Cup meaning he was the only player to win every possible trophy with the club
“My actions spoke for themselves. I stayed involved with the club, played the games and that was even though I didn’t know what was going to happen. The new owners have arrived and we have had very honest conversations. I decided it was good to stay at home.
‘The conversations were there’ [with Barcelona]. All around the club. After the Club World Cup, where I became the only player to ever win every trophy, [I felt] it was time to go back [to Spain]. But then everything happened to this club. I wanted to stay involved with the club. I never did anything against my club. We had private conversations where I said everything.’
Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly wanted to keep Azpilicueta mainly at Chelsea
Azpilicueta further opened up about the dilemma posed by February’s Club World Cup victory in Abu Dhabi.
“It was a turning point at the Club World Cup. I tried so hard to win this trophy. My last trophy is still left, so I could be the only player to have won every trophy for the club,” he said.
‘At that moment I felt different. It was like wow, I won everything for this club so maybe there will be a new chapter. It is true that my performances during the last break were not as good as before. I paid a high price for playing from December to February. I think I played the most minutes and I did it as a fullback.
“Of course I’m not getting any younger and it’s a job that takes a lot of energy every three days and plays the World Cup for clubs. I think all the emotions, feelings and fatigue made me feel this way. The last two months I was physically not as good as before.’
Azpilicueta, who has played at Chelsea for ten years, is excited about the club’s future
By staying put, Azpilicueta will be part of a new era at Chelsea following the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital acquisition.
Boehly was especially keen to keep Azpilicueta, so important was the importance he placed on the Spaniard and his leadership skills.
Azpilicueta said ‘I’m very excited otherwise’ [I wouldn’t sign]. I am very honest and have had conversations with them. We gave our opinion and I had a meeting with the owners.
“They wanted me to stay here to lead the team, both on and off the field. It’s a big thank you to them.
“They were very honest and transparent from day one. I felt a responsibility to stay here in my house. My family is happy here.
“We have a new project with new players and young people coming in. I feel good and ready to look ahead.’