OFFICIAL: Chelsea club captain joins Atletico Madrid
Cesar Azpilicueta has joined Atletico Madrid on a free transfer.
This move has been a long time coming, but it’s no less emotional for that. The Spaniard has been a rock at the back for Chelsea, winning every trophy he played in and doing so at left back, right back and centre back through the years.
An icon of hard work, determination and professionalism, there will be few players as well liked on and off the pitch as Azpilicueta down the years. It’s been a while since he was the best full back in the Premier League – but he held that title against some ferocious competition for a number of years.
His competitiveness and will to win were the final legacy of the great teams of Cech, Drogba, Lampard and Terry, and that fire lived on in the Basque even as his legs started to go in recent seasons.
Azpi was allowed to tear up his contract a year early and join Atletico on a free transfer as a reward for 11 years of loyalty, and for staying through last season, despite an offer from Barcelona.
The defender released an emotional 6 minute video for the fans where he wept his way through a farewell to the club where he’s made more than 500 appearances.
His replacement as cover at right back, Malo Gusto, coincidentally trained with his new club for the first time today.