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Cesar Azpilicueta far from 'lucky' and has earned Chelsea hero status alongside John Terry

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Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta has epitomised the club throughout his time as captain, winning every trophy possible in an extraordinary career that puts Neil Warnock’s comments to shame.

A team with 11 Azpilicuetas would win the Champions League, so the famous saying goes from Jose Mourinho.

As it happens, you just need one to win everything possible in club football and Chelsea have reaped the rewards from that decision to buy him for just £7m in 2012.

The latest trophy lifted by the Spaniard came in the shape of the Club World Cup – which has been denounced by some but around the globe it is seen as the biggest and best prize a club can win.

Journeyman manager Warnock made some startling comments about Azpilicueta, claiming that the defender was “lucky” to be where he is.

On talkSPORT, he said: “I don’t think he’s a great defender. Sometimes in football, you need a bit of luck and I think he’s had a bit of luck that he’s been there at the right time and at the right place.”

Since donning the captain’s armband, Azpilicueta has won the Europa League, Champions League and now the Club World Cup and has made 459 appearances for the Blues in total.

That makes him seventh on Chelsea’s all-time record appearance makers, while his trophy cabinet also includes the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and the Super Cup.

If that is luck than the 33-year-old has won the lottery on his birthday – the defender deserves to be spoken about in terms of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

No one has worked harder than Azpilicueta in that Chelsea side, playing across a number of positions including left-back, centre-back and wing-back – as opposed to his preferred right-back slot.

And he has never once complained, not even when he was momentarily dropped from the starting line-up at the beginning of the season due to Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah’s form.

There is talk that Azpilicueta could leave for Spain at the end of the season when his contract expires and Chelsea would lose a massive part of the dressing room if he goes.

While his defensive prowess can never be questioned, the veteran star has been instrumental in helping the new players settle in at Stamford Bridge.

It was not easy for the new crop coming through, including Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, joining a foreign club during the Covid era where they could not return home.

But Azpilicueta’s efforts have made sure that there is a settled dressing room at Chelsea – probably for the first time in years.

When he first joined, Blues fans called him “Dave” but when he calls time on his Stamford Bridge career, every supporter will remember his name for generations.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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