Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has claimed he’s always pushing in training to try earn more minutes on the pitch, but has explained how he’s always there to motivate the group and doesn’t want to be selfish.
The Spanish defender has turned out to be one of the club’s biggest ever bargain signings, as the Blues bought him from Marseille for £7million (Guardian) back in 2012 and he’s been a serial winner with them.
He’s a no-nonsense defender that over the years has been so difficult for attackers in one-on-one positions and he’s developed into a leader in recent times as well.
Manager Frank Lampard is hoping he can guide his team to a piece of silverware this season and no doubt he’s going to need his squad for that, which is why it’s so vital having senior figures like Azpilicueta in the dressing room.
He’s lost his starting position to academy graduate and 20-year-old England international Reece James, who has looked phenomenal since stepping in at right-back.
Azpilicueta is now the cover at right-back and stepped in superbly well in midweek during the Champions League win over Rennes, plus his versatility to cover anywhere in defence works in his favour to try play more regularly.
The 31-year-old has shown his professionalism by discussing the hard work he puts in on the training, but stresses he’s there to encourage right-back James.
“You know, I push and I train hard to get as many minutes as possible, when the manager needs me to be ready for him, but you know when I’m out I try to help from the stands,” Azpilicueta told the Telegraph.
“I want my team to win and to fight for every trophy. That’s the responsibility I have and I feel I have to show the example every day to push my team-mates, to help, in this case Reece. And I think it’s very important we fight together and we are not selfish just thinking of our own situations.”