Azpilicueta playing for Chelsea in 2013
|Full name||César Azpilicueta Tanco|
|Date of birth||28 August 1989|
|Place of birth||Pamplona, Spain|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Full back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 August 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
César Azpilicueta Tanco (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈθesaɾ aθpiliˈkweta ˈtaŋko]; born 28 August 1989) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Spanish national team, as a full back.
After playing three seasons in La Liga with Osasuna in whose youth system he grew, he represented Marseille in Ligue 1, winning four major honours with the French club. In the summer of 2012 he moved to Chelsea, winning the Europa League in his first season.
Azpilicueta gained 55 caps for Spain at youth level in all categories comprised, and represented the under-21s in two European Championships, winning the 2011 edition. In 2013, he made his first appearance with the full side, and was selected for the following year's World Cup.
Azpilicueta was born in Pamplona, Navarre. A product of hometown side CA Osasuna's youth system, he made his La Liga debut on 8 April 2007 in a 0–2 away loss against Real Madrid, while still registered with the reserve team; he started his career as a midfielder.
In 2007–08, due to injuries in the main squad, Azpilicueta established himself as a first-team regular at the age of just 18, albeit as a right back. He went on to retain this position for the following season, appearing in all but two games for the club.
On 21 June 2010, French club Olympique de Marseille confirmed an agreement had been reached with Osasuna for the transfer of Azpilicueta, in a four-year contract for €7 million. A week later, the Navarrese confirmed the agreement, with the transfer fee possibly rising to as much as €9.5 million depending on appearances. In his UEFA Champions League debut he scored the match's only goal in a group stage home match against FC Spartak Moscow, albeit in his own net.
On 27 November 2010, in the early minutes of a 4–0 home win against Montpellier HSC – which meant Marseille climbed to the top of the league – Azpilicueta ruptured the anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee. He was sidelined for six months.
In August 2012, amid speculation of clubs showing interest in Azpilicueta, including Premier League club Chelsea, Marseille confirmed that he could leave, saying, "If Chelsea makes a fair offer for Aspi [Azpilicueta], we will let him leave." Despite his loyalty to Marseille, the player said he was willing to leave if his "departure can help Marseille's finances".
On 24 August 2012, Chelsea completed the signing of Azpilicueta for an undisclosed fee, reported as £7 million. According to teammate and countryman Juan Mata, "He is a strong running right-back who has pace as well, so I think he is already a complete player."
Azpilicueta made his debut on 25 September 2012, starting in a 6–0 home win against Wolverhampton Wanderers for the season's Football League Cup. He played his first Premier League game the following week, coming on as a substitute for Branislav Ivanović in a 4–1 success over Norwich City, also at Stamford Bridge.
On 3 November 2012 Azpilicueta made his first league start, appearing against Swansea City in a 1–1 away draw. He played 48 official contests in his first year with the Rafael Benítez-led side, including eight in the Blues' victorious campaign in the UEFA Europa League: in the final against S.L. Benfica his 67th-minute handball led to Óscar Cardozo equalising through a penalty kick, in an eventual 2–1 win in Amsterdam.
Azpilicueta scored his first official goal for Chelsea on 29 October 2013, netting the first in a 2–0 success at Arsenal for the League Cup fourth round. Following the arrival of new manager José Mourinho he began appearing regularly as a left back, taking the place of longtime incumbent Ashley Cole. Mourinho said of him: "Azpilicueta is the kind of player I like a lot. I think a team with 11 Azpilicuetas would probably win the competition (Champions League) because football is not just about pure talent".
In 2007, Azpilicueta helped Spain's U19 win the UEFA European Championship. Shortly after he upgraded to the under-21s, being picked for the 2009 European Championships in Sweden where he started three matches in an eventual group stage exit.
On 11 May 2010, 20-year-old Azpilicueta was named by senior side manager Vicente del Bosque in a provisional list of 30 players, in view of the forthcoming edition of the FIFA World Cup. Eventually, he did not make the final cut.
Azpilicueta was picked for Spain's squad for the 2012 Summer Olympics, after missing out on selection for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. Due to the presence of Álvaro Domínguez, heonly appeared in the last group match, a 0–0 draw with Morocco at Old Trafford, as the national team exited in the group stage.
On 1 February 2013, Azpilicueta was named in the squad for the upcoming international friendly against Uruguay. The manager said of the selection: 'Azpilicueta is playing many games for Chelsea. He has a lot of energy, defends well and is always willing to attack. We have a lot of hope for him. He made his debut five days later, playing the full 90 minutes in the 3–1 win in Doha, Qatar; after the match, he said that it was his "dream to play for Spain" at the senior level.
Azpilicueta was selected to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament held in Brazil: he started in the second group game against Tahiti which Spain won 10–0 in a record for the largest margin of victory in the competition, and replaced Álvaro Arbeloa at half-time in the final against the hosts, in an eventual 0–3 loss.
In June 2014, Azpilicueta was selected to represent Spain in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was the team's starting right back during their first two fixtures, against the Netherlands and Chile, as Spain were eliminated at the group stage.
- Spain U19
- Spain U21
- As of 23 August 2014.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
- "Barclays Premier League squad numbers 2013/14". Premier League. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Player Profile: César Azpilicueta". chelseafc.com.
- "Real Madrid 2–0 Osasuna". ESPN Soccernet. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "César Azpilicueta, intentad atacar por la otra banda" [César Azpilicueta, try the other wing] (in Spanish). El Blog de los Trolacas. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Accord de principe pour le transfert de César Azpilicueta" [Deal arranged for transfer of Azpilicueta] (in French). OM.net. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
- "OM: Azpilicueta et Modesto arrivent!" [OM: Azpilicueta and Modesto arrive!] (in French). Les Transferts. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Azpi pour 9.5 million euros?" [Azpi for 9.5 million euros?] (in French). Mercato 365. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Spartak sucker punch downs Marseille". UEFA.com. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- Marseille go top but pay high price; Soccerway, 27 November 2010
- Marseille confirm need to sell; Sky Sports, 14 August 2012
- Azpilicueta open to Blues move; Sky Sports, 21 August 2012
- "Azpilicueta signs". Chelsea F.C. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Azpilicueta joins Chelsea". Sky Sports. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Di Matteo: Cesar offers options". Chelsea F.C. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Chelsea 6–0 Wolves". BBC Sport. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Swansea 1–1 Chelsea". ESPN Soccernet. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Ivanović heads Chelsea to Europa League glory". UEFA.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Arsenal 0–2 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Schalke 0–3 Chelsea: Impressive Torres bags double". Goal.com. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta ready to keep sub standard Ashley Cole on the bench". Daily Mirror. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "Premier League – Mourinho: A team of Azpilicuetas would win the Champions League". Eurosport. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- "Valdés, De Gea, Azpilicueta, Javi Martínez y Pedro entran en la preselección de 30" [Valdés, De Gea, Azpilicueta, Javi Martínez and Pedro make shortlist of 30] (in Spanish). Marca. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Azpilicueta called up by Spain". Chelsea F.C. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Azpilicueta impresses Spain boss Vicente del Bosque on debut". Sky Sports. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- "Cesar Azpilicueta happy after Spain debut". Sky Sports. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
- "Azpilicueta: "España todavía tiene hambre"" [Azpilicueta: "Spain is still hungry"] (in Spanish). Marca. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "Spain hit ten in record-smashing win". FIFA.com. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "Fred and Neymar claim Confeds for Brazil". FIFA.com. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "Spain World Cup 2014 squad". The Telegraph. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- "Spain 1-5 Netherlands". BBC. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Spain 0-2 Chile". BBC. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Osasuna 2006–07". BDFutbol. Retrieved 26 August 2012. Select competition via dropdown menu.
- "Azpilicueta". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Osasuna 2008–09". BDFutbol. Retrieved 26 August 2012. Select competition via dropdown menu.
- "Cesar Azpiliceuta". Soccerway. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "César Azpilicueta: Career and Awards". Olympique de Marseille. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to César Azpilicueta.|
- Chelsea official profile
- BDFutbol profile
- Futbolme profile (Spanish)
- César Azpilicueta French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- César Azpilicueta at L'Équipe Football (French)
- César Azpilicueta at National-Football-Teams.com
- César Azpilicueta – FIFA competition record
- César Azpilicueta at ESPN FC