Thomas Tuchel says Cesar Azpilicueta would be totally worthy of breaking a Chelsea record if he features in the FA Cup final.
Tuchel told the club media that his captain has earned the right to become the Blues’ all-time appearance maker in finals.
Permitted Azpilicueta plays against Liverpool later today, he will feature in his 13th final, beating the record he currently shares with Frank Lampard and Petr Cech.
The Spanish defender moved up the rankings when he lifted the Club World Cup earlier this season, a trophy neither Lampard nor Cech got their hands on.
He also held aloft the UEFA Super Cup at the very start of the campaign, another item of silverware that evaded the two Stamford Bridge legends.
But overtaking the iconic pair will mean very little to the Chelsea skipper if the encounter with Liverpool ends in defeat.
Tuchel’s men have yet to defeat the Reds yet this term, despite meeting them three times in two different competitions.
Both Premier League fixtures finished as a draw, whilst the Carabao Cup final concluded on penalties.
Azpilicueta approaches Chelsea final record
Revenge, rather than breaking records, must be on the mind of Azpilicueta and his teammates.
Beating Liverpool would make the 13th final extremely lucky indeed.
“It’s so nice that, he knows how I mean this, not the most talented guy in the world has a record like this,” said Tuchel on the full-back possibly replacing Lampard and Cech at the top of the finals-featured-in ladder.
“This is what I love about this. The hardest worker and the guy with the biggest heart has this kind of record.
“That’s why we love him and that’s why he’s captain of Chelsea and that’s why he deserves it.”
Despite being on the verge of making history, Azpilicueta’s focus will only be on one thing: overcoming Liverpool.
That is simply the 32-year-old’s nature.
All the glitz, glam, titles and accolades can be only achieved and enjoyed once the football match has finished.
Which makes up a large part of Azpilicueta’s humble character, a quality that hasn’t surprised Tuchel in the slightest.
“Not surprised but very, very nice that he’s like this,” continued the coach.
“It sums up the whole picture of this is how he works and approaches his talent and this is how he approaches his duty as a captain of his club.
“Everything is humble and everything is still to the top level. That’s Azpi.”
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