Regardless of the FIFA Club World Cup being the one major club trophy missing from his personal collection, skipper Cesar Azpilicueta is very keen to point out that this week, Chelsea Football Club as a whole is aiming to lift it for the first time in our history.
That quest begins tomorrow with a semi-final against Saudi side Al Hilal, and speaking at a media conference ahead of that challenge, Azpilicueta emphasised how ambitious he is to win that match and then the final on Saturday, not least because he is the one member of the current squad who was part of the one that lost in the final in 2012, our only other time in the competition.‘I think after 10 years I’ve realised how difficult it is to win it,’ Azpilicueta told the reporters in Abu Dhabi.
‘We lost the final at that time against Corinthians and I had a different feeling, it was my first season, we were in every competition, maybe it looked like it was easier than it is. And then with time you realise how difficult it is, first of all to qualify in the Premier League for the Champions League, and then go all the way to win that, and then to be here.‘So we have to make the most of it, starting with tomorrow's game, but it is going to be very difficult, and hopefully that bad experience will help in this tournament.
‘I am really motivated’ he emphasised. ‘Losing that one in 2012, it hurt a lot and to win it for the first time for the club would be huge. It has a great meaning for everybody, for the fans, we are representing Europe, and after all the journey that we had to make it here, we have to give everything, first tomorrow and then go step by step because we know it is going to be difficult.‘But when you have a chance like we have in this tournament this week, we have to make the most of it and hopefully take it.’In the 2012 loss in Japan against the South American champions, our current captain had to wait until the 83rd minute before being brought on from the bench, but that did not mean the pain was any less.‘It was really hard to take that defeat. We saw how Corinthians prepared for that game and sometimes small details can make the difference and that day we were not at our best and of course it hurt a lot.
‘Now let's start with tomorrow. We know that to win the trophy we have to win the semi-final before the final.‘You know coming from the Premier League we have to try to impose our game. Tomorrow is going to be a tough game and we will have to show our strengths from the first minute.’