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  • Sports - Football - Transfers
  • Updated: July 07, 2023

Chelsea Captain Cesar Azpilicueta Departs After 11 Seasons

Chelsea Captain Cesar Azpilicueta Departs After 11 Seasons

Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea have officially bid farewell to their long-serving captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, bringing an end to his illustrious 11-year tenure with the Premier League side.

The departure was confirmed by the West London outfit on Thursday, leaving fans and football enthusiasts alike in a state of mixed emotions.

Since he arrived from Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille in 2012, Azpilicueta has been an integral part of Chelsea's success, cementing his place as a mainstay in the squad.

The Spanish defender boasts an impressive record of over 500 appearances across all competitions, scoring 17 goals and providing 56 assists during his time with the club. Additionally, he has achieved every major title on offer, including the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, and League Cup.

In a joint statement issued by Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali, Azpilicueta was hailed as a true Chelsea legend.

The statement read, "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."

Despite having 12 months remaining on his contract, the 33-year-old defender will be leaving Stamford Bridge as a free agent.

Speculations regarding his next destination have been put to rest with reports suggesting that Azpilicueta is expected to join LaLiga side Atletico Madrid. The Spanish club proved to be the chosen destination for the experienced defender, who was previously linked with a move to Serie A side Inter Milan.

Azpilicueta's departure adds to the list of high-profile players leaving Chelsea during this transfer window. The likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, N'Golo Kante, and Edouard Mendy have already departed for Saudi Pro League clubs, while promising talents such as Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic, and academy graduate Mason Mount have made moves to rival clubs Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United, respectively.

As Chelsea bid farewell to their departing players, they have wasted no time in bolstering their squad for the upcoming season.

The club has recently secured the signings of forwards Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson in an attempt to revive their fortunes under the management of Mauricio Pochettino, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager. The Blues aim to bounce back from their disappointing 12th-place finish in the previous season, which marked their worst performance since 1994.

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