Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, has named the untouchable in his squad ahead of the Blues’ Champions League semi-final first leg tie with Real Madrid on Tuesday night in Spain.
According to Tuchel, captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, will always be on the pitch for Chelsea, adding that the Spaniard is everything the west London club means because he is reliable.
“He [Cesar Azpilicueta] is everything Chelsea means,” Tuchel said at his post-match press conference following Chelsea’s 1-0 win against West Ham in the Premier League over the weekend.
“He is fantastic, and I want him absolutely to be on the pitch because he is a fantastic captain and a fantastic sportsman.
“He’s everything Chelsea means in my point of view – he is humble, he’s a fighter, he constantly thinks about winning, and he does everything to be in shape every three days. He is a true professional, and there is no work too hard or distance too long for him.
“We used him as a wing-back, and it was a bit hard because he had to do several long runs. It was a bit different for him, but we chose the back three with Andreas, Toni [Rudiger] and Thiago [Silva] because we knew about West Ham’s strength in set-pieces, and we wanted to gain some centimetres in height.
“Azpi is totally open to anything once he sees the reason why. He was very excited to be involved a bit more offensively, and it is nice to have this. The two positions [wing-back and full-back] suit him very well, and he is absolutely reliable.”
Thiago Silva reveals what makes Azpilicueta such a good captain
Thiago Silva has been used to wearing the armband for club and country for the most part of his career. That all changed when he joined Chelsea and Azpilicueta, being a veteran himself, was the permanent club captain. Silva recognised that and was respectful of it. He has now revealed what he thinks makes him such a good captain.
“As soon as he arrived, Azpilicueta was one of the first to write to me wishing me good luck in this new chapter.
“He is a spectacular guy, a super professional who undoubtedly deserves to be where he is and wear the armband, which means so much to him.
“There are different types of captains: there are those who talk more, and others who are quieter but mean a lot to the team. Azpilicueta has both aspects: he is very important on the field, and outside he brings the team together when necessary to talk about what is necessary and to make things clear so they don’t go wrong.
“Each captain does the job in a very different personal way, but you have to show it every day, in the good times, in the difficult ones, to lead by example and always be there.
“We have an incredible group. I always try to contribute my maximum to that and, above all, during the difficult moments. That is when you have to be there the most.”