After eleven years, 508 appearances and nine trophies, Cesar Azpilicueta has decided the time is right to leave Chelsea. Congratulations for all that you achieved. You are forever a Chelsea legend.
Azpi became the first player to win it all during his time at Stamford Bridge. In the process, he also won the hearts of supporters and cemented his place in the club’s history.
Todd Boehly, Chelsea chairman, and Behdad Eghbali, co-controlling owner, said: ‘Cesar leaves an everlasting mark at Chelsea, as a warrior, as a champion, and as a loyal Chelsea legend. He has set the standards at the club for more than a decade and demonstrated to everyone what is required day in, day out to achieve success.
‘Coaches and teammates past and present have trusted him to lead by example as captain. He has done so immaculately on and off the pitch, something for which we are grateful. For that and so much more, Cesar will always be welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.’
Signed from Marseille in the summer of 2012, the man affectionately nicknamed ‘Dave’ by fans played a key role in one of the most successful spells in Chelsea’s history. And he did so in several different positions: right-back, left-back, centre-back, and wing-back.
The 33-year-old twice won the Premier League. The FA Cup and League Cup were also claimed, as was the Europa League. It was as club captain that Azpilicueta lifted the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and for the first time in Chelsea history, the FIFA Club World Cup.
That makes Azpilicueta one of just six players to have won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup. His 13 major cup final appearances for Chelsea is also a club record.
The respect Azpilicueta was held in by his teammates was emphasised at the end of his second campaign in west London when he was named Chelsea Players' Player of the Year. Azpi was later named permanent club captain following the departure of Gary Cahill in 2019, although he had previously worn the armband on several occasions.
A true leader and model professional who came to embody the Blues’ winning mentality, Azpilicueta will always retain the gratitude of those at Chelsea for his crucial role on and off the pitch during such a successful period for the club.
Congratulations and good luck, Cesar. We’ll be forever grateful.