Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea Bids Emotional Farewell to Club Legend After 11 Years

Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea Bids Emotional Farewell to Club Legend After 11 Years

Elijah Odetokun
updated at July 6, 2023 at 2:18 PM
In this article:
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  • Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has ended his 11 year association with the club
  • He left for free and joined Atletico Madrid despite having a year left on his contract
  • Azpi was the first Blues player to win it all after FIFA Club World Cup glory in 2022

It is an emotional day for everyone at Chelsea as they bid farewell to a club legend and captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, after 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta's departure confirmed the rumours that he would leave the club and return to his home country of Spain, despite having a year left on his contract.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea, Manchester United, Old Trafford.
Cesar Azpilicueta has left Chelsea after 11 successful years. Photo by Chris Lee.
Source: Getty Images

An official club statement confirmed the Spanish full-back would depart London after 11 years, 508 games, and nine trophies in the famous blue shirt.

He arrived at Chelsea in 2012 for just £7 million as Branislav Ivanovic's backup, but his breakthrough came in 2013 as a left-back.

Azpi has played as a right-back, a right wing-back, and a centre-back in a three-man defence for the Blues.

Chelsea bids farewell to Azpilicueta

The 33-year-old became captain in 2019 under Maurizio Sarri and is the first - and only - player in Chelsea's history to win it all after claiming the FIFA Club World Cup title in Abu Dhabi last year.

"It's difficult to express in words what I feel. It's been incredible, and just thank you to everyone because it couldn't happen without the help of a lot of people," Azpilicueta told Chelsea TV, barely able to contain his emotions.
"I've been really proud of defending this badge on and off the pitch," he added, barely able to look at the camera.

Football Italia reports the Spanish international turned down Inter Milan, despite a verbal agreement, for a chance to return home to Atletico Madrid where coach, Diego Simeone, highly values him.

Mount bids farewell to Chelsea

Sports Brief previously reported on Mason Mount bidding Chelsea an emotional farewell after it was confirmed he would be joining Manchester United for £60mil.

The Cobham Academy graduate said he felt the fans deserved more than just a written statement, but still received backlash from those upset at his joining a rival.

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Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
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