César Azpilicueta

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César Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta.jpg
0Full Name César Azpilicueta Tanco
0Date of Birth 28 August 1989
0Place of Birth Pamplona, Spain
0Position Right back
Left back
0Chelsea career 2012 – 2023
0Debut 25 September 2012
0Games (goals) 282 (8)
0Other clubs Osasuna

César Azpilicueta Tanco (born 28 August 1989 in Pamplona, Navarre) is a Spanish international full back who joined Chelsea from Marseille in August 2012. Signed as a right back, he is equally comfortable at left back, where he featured regularly after being converted to the role by José Mourinho during the 2013-14 season.


Before Chelsea


A native of Pamplona, Azpilicueta joined local club Osasuna as a youngster. He broke into the first team at a young age, making his debut at Real Madrid on 8 April 2007 at the age of just 18. Previously a midfielder, the following season he was handed a chance to establish himself in the first team due to injuries and made the right back position his own, making 29 appearances in the league. He retained his place over the next two seasons, and having also established himself in the Spanish Under-21 side he began to attract interest from across Europe.


Azpilicueta joined French side Olympique de Marseille in June 2010 on a four-year contract, for a reported fee of EUR7m; possibly rising to EUR9.5m dependent on appearances. His first season in the south of France was halted in November when the Spaniard ruptured the anterior cruciate ligaments in is left knee, an injury which sidelined him for six months. He re-established himself in the side upon his return to full fitness, making 41 appearances during the 2011-12 season. With José Bosingwa having left on a free transfer in the summer of 2012, Chelsea were in the market for a new right back, and had been linked with a move for Azpilicueta in the media for several months. [1] On 24 August it was confirmed that the right back had signed for Chelsea for a reported initial fee of £6.5m. [2]

Chelsea career

Largely featuring as an unused substitute at the start of the 2012-13 season, Azpilicueta made his debut for Chelsea one month after signing, in a 6-0 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers in a League Cup tie in late September. By the time Roberto Di Matteo was relieved of his duties in late November he was generally starting ahead of Branislav Ivanović, and he continued to be preferred as starting right back by interim manager Rafael Benítez over the course of the campaign, making 48 appearances in what was a generally impressive first season in English football. His debut season was capped with a UEFA Europa League-winners medal, although he conceded a penalty in the final; the third he had conceded in the competition.

With José Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2013-14 season, the Spanish international had a third manager to win over less than a year after joining the club. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mourinho preferred the powerful Ivanović at right back, with Azpilicueta's involvement mainly limited to substitute appearances in the early part of the season. His opportunity to regain a first team place came in the autumn, albeit in the unlikely role of left back with Ashley Cole out injured. Having waited patiently for his chance, Azpilicueta's performances were good enough to keep Cole out of the side upon his return from injury, [3] and in March Mourinho described Azpilicueta as "unbeatable" following a 4-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur. [4] Azpilicueta's consistent performances over the course of the campaign in what was a new position were also recognised by his peers; the full-back voted Players' Player of the Season by his team-mates at the end of the season.


Azpilicueta has represented his country from Under-16 level up, and in 2007 was a member of Spain's U19 UEFA European Championship-winning side. He was selected for the Under-21 side for the 2009 European Championships, starting all three matches as Spain failed to make it out of the group stage. Ahead of the 2010 World Cup he was named in Vicente del Bosque's provisional list of 30 but didn't make the final squad. He also represented his country at the 2012 London Olympics, in a squad that contained future Chelsea teammates Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu, though he only made one appearance as the World and European champions made a surprise exit in the group stage. He made his debut for the senior Spanish international side after joining Chelsea, starting in a friendly against Uruguay on 6 February 2013. He represented his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, although the reigning champions crashed out in the group stage.


Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2012-13 27 0 5 0 5 0 8 0 2 0 47 0
2013-14 29 0 2 0 3 1 10 0 0 0 44 1
2014-15 29 0 2 0 5 0 4 0 0 0 40 0
2015-16 37 2 3 0 0 0 8 0 1 0 49 2
2016-17 38 1 6 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 47 2
2017-18 37 2 4 0 2 0 8 1 1 0 52 3
2018-19 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Total 198 5 22 0 18 2 38 1 5 0 282 8

Correct as of 11 August 2018


# Season Date Year Competition Opponent Score Result Venue
12013-1429 October2013League CupArsenal1-02-0Emirates Stadium
22015-1623 August2015Premier LeagueWest Brom3-13-2The Hawthorns
32015-1613 January2016Premier LeagueWest Brom1-02-2Stamford Bridge
42016-1720 September2016League CupLeicester City2-24-2King Power Stadium
52016-1715 May2017Premier LeagueWatford2-14-3Stamford Bridge
62017-1812 September2017UEFA Champions LeagueQarabağ3-06-0Stamford Bridge
72017-1821 October2017Premier LeagueWatford3-24-2Stamford Bridge
82017-188 April2018Premier LeagueWest Ham United1-01-1Stamford Bridge

Career honours




Spain U19
Spain U21
Current Squad
1 Sanchez • 2 Disasi • 3 Cucurella • 5 Badiashile • 7 Sterling • 8 Enzo • 10 Mudryk • 10 Madueke • 13 Bettinelli
• 14 Chalobah • 15 Jackson • 16 Ugochukwu • 17 Chukwuemeka • 18 Nkunku • 20 Palmer • 21 Chilwell • 23 Gallagher
• 24 James • 25 Caicedo • 26 Colwill • 27 Gusto • 28 Petrovic • 31 Casadei • 33 Fofana • 42 Gilchrist • 45 Lavia
Manager: Enzo Maresca
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