As one of the longest serving players in modern Chelsea history, few players have represented the Blues quite like Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard arrived from Olympique Marseille in 2012, and has affectionately been nicknamed “Dave” over the years. The player is beloved by Blues fans all around the world, becoming a critical replacement for club legend Branislav Ivanovic. Since his debut in the League Cup against Wolverhampton Wanderers to today, ‘Dave’ has become a true fan favourite.
The player has won much in his time at the club, in both team trophies and personal accolades. Having joined after the club won the 2012 UEFA Champions League, he added the 2021 edition to his own personal haul of leagues and domestic cups as well as a pair of UEFA Europa League trophies. He is one of the most decorated players in the history of Chelsea.
Having seen so much at Stamford Bridge, then, the player knows what it takes to win in a season for the champions of Europe. And with the arrival of Romelu Lukaku, Azpilicueta is surer than ever that success is just around the corner.
What did Cesar Azpilicueta say about Romelu Lukaku?
Both players signed for Chelsea amid the warm glow of the 2012 European success. However, while the Spaniard has become a club legend, Lukaku left for a series of loans before eventually arriving in Manchester and then Milan before a club-record return to his boyhood club. It has been a long journey spanning close to a decade, but Azpilicueta believes that the time is now right for Lukaku to thrive in blue.
Speaking ahead of the UEFA Champions League tie against Zenit St. Petersburg, Azpilicueta told the press that he believes Lukaku is better than ever, stating: “The club always tries to improve the team every year and of course, Romelu is a great addition to the team,” added Azpilicueta.
“His experience, his desire, his ambition to help the team, of course we feel stronger as he gives us confidence. A new addition always helps, adds quality to the team.
“Romelu is a great personality, character and a great leader. He is very vocal, ambitious, he helps everybody. With his presence, you respect him. When the defenders see him, they know he is a big lad, powerful, who can create chances any time.”
It is not just Lukaku that has brought excitement to the team, though. The Spaniard, who has 32 caps for his country, believes the entire squad is brimming with talent.
Remarking on this, Azpilicueta added: “I see this squad with great potential, ambition. We have healthy competition and a good group of lads that train hard and go forward because we have an exciting season ahead of us and we want to fight for everything.
“It is just about winning trophies and the biggest one you can get. The Champions League is the biggest, but I always felt since I arrived here that Chelsea fights for every trophy. We go into every competition with a fully focused mind on getting as far as possible.
“Every year is more and more difficult. Coming in as champions of Europe will mean every team will want to beat us and we will have to be ready for it.”
Chelsea fans, then, should feel positive about the optimism and confidence that is coming from the Chelsea dressing room.