Captaining Chelsea may be a regular occurrence for Cesar Azpilicueta but it is pretty untouched territory when representing Spain.
Azpilicueta has always been a leader for club and country and was officially named Chelsea’s skipper in 2019 following Gary Cahill’s departure.
The Spaniard had assumed vice-captain duties before the announcement and was the logical successor to Cahill’s crown.
The 32-year-old has now worn the big ‘C’ on his arm for the Blues 166 times.
However, his captain’s tally for his international side stood at zero, despite earning 31 caps for La Furia Roja.
That is until last night, when Azpilicueta was finally handed the armband – for his country’s World Cup qualifying match against Georgia.
Luis Enrique’s side put four past their opponents without reply, a clean sheet the icing on the Chelsea defender’s cake.
Captain of Chelsea, now captain of Spain
Spain have long had iconic chiefs of command to call on.
Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Alonso and Gerard Pique to name a few.
But not many of those iconic names wear the red of Spain any more since Ramos’ exclusion from the Euro 2020 camp.
Enrique has enlisted a much younger batch of stars to try to recreate the success of their illustrious predecessors.
Nevertheless, he’s still relying on a few experienced heads to lead his revolution, with Azpilicueta now at the head of the pack.
Leading out his compatriots at the next World Cup would be the ultimate goal.
Barring injury, his normal captain’s duties will resume on Saturday when Chelsea host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.