Long-time Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta was interviewed by Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard and spoke on his recent contract situation, winning the Club World Cup, and why he chose to stay at Stamford Bridge amid interest from Barcelona.
According to the Standard, the player was subject to a six-month chase from the Catalan giants and had a desire to return home but instead opted to re-up with his current club until 2024.
Cesar Azpilicueta Talks His Decision to Remain a Blue
Azpilicueta reveals why he snubbed Barcelona move for dramatic Chelsea stay
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) August 8, 2022
The 32-year-old mentioned a desire to return home after winning the Club World Cup in February: “After the Club World Cup, where I became the only player to ever win every trophy, [I felt] it was the time to go back to Spain”
He reiterated this desire later in the interview: “I tried so hard to win this trophy. At that moment I felt differently. At that moment it was like, ‘wow, I have won everything for this club’, so maybe a new chapter arrives”
After achieving what very few players can, the Spaniard unsurprisingly was hoping for a new challenge. Being in the last year of his contract made it different for him and the club although he had a clause that triggered an automatic extension.
Deciding to Stay
The club captain, affectionately known to fans as Dave, opted to stay to bridge the gap between his generation and the vision of the new owners.
Win at the start of the Prem! 💙⚽️ pic.twitter.com/zjpmLj84Qk
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) August 6, 2022
Todd Boehly and co’s desire to have Azpilicutta lead the team went a long way to convincing him: “The owners wanted me to stay here to lead the team both on and off the pitch. It’s a big thank-you to them. They were very honest and transparent from the first day. I felt a responsibility to stay here in my home.”
The interview closes out with a statement of intent from the former Marseille man: “We have a new project, with new players and youngsters coming in. I feel ready to look forward”