Cesar Azpilicueta played a full ninety minutes for the Spanish national team in their friendly against Italy and is currently unchallenged for the starting right back position, an advantage he says that he owes to his club manager Jose Mourinho. Though he has not been playing his natural postion for Chelsea FC, Azpilicueta has taken hold of the leftback position that was once believed to be Ashley Cole’s until he retired or left the club. He has been the most consistent performers in a Chelsea shirt and his manager has claimed that a team with eleven Azpilicueta’s could win the Champions League.
Azpilicueta, in a prematch interview with Spanish paper Marca, spoke about his relationship with Mourinho:
“Mourinho has helped me to return to the Spanish squad. He has always helped me. Though initially I did not play [at Chelsea], the coach has always shown me his trust. The work we have been doing is reflected now. I have learnt so much with him. I am delighted with my role. Mourinho thought that I could give a high team performance. I try to do my best and keep working. Everything started with the fact that Ashley Cole was injured. Until then I was not playing too much and all that I thought was to take advantage of the minutes as much as I could and help Chelsea – Gradually, I was feeling better and I found that continuity.”
Azpilicueta credits Mourinho with getting him back in to the Spanish squad and with no serious competition at right back, a place in the starting eleven. He truly has been Chelsea’s unsung hero as he does his job at the highest level with no fuss or extra attention. He has displaced a player that many consider one of the best leftbacks in the world and has many wondering how high his potential really is. Many Chelsea fans knew little about the Spaniard or had never even heard of him when he arrived from Marseille for £7 million but soon, come Rio 2014, the whole world will know his name.
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