Cesar Azpilicueta reveals why he did not join Barcelona | OneFootball

Cesar Azpilicueta reveals why he did not join Barcelona

Logo: 90min


Cesar Azpilicueta has confessed that he did consider leaving Chelsea for Barcelona but felt a duty to be loyal to the Blues in the wake of their takeover this summer.

The club captain saw an automatic one-year extension triggered in his contract last season to prevent him becoming a free agent, but talks remained on with Barcelona over a possible transfer to La Liga.

Chelsea had been open to granting Azpilicueta an exit as a show of respect for his ten years of service, although manager Thomas Tuchel was always adamant he wanted the 32-year-old to stay. He eventually got his wish as Azpilicueta inked a new two-year contract.

On his rollercoaster of a summer, the defender told the Standard: “Yes, the conversations were there [with Barcelona], all around the club.

“After the Club World Cup, where I became the only player to ever win every trophy, [I felt] it was the time to go back to Spain. But then everything happened with this club. I wanted to stay committed. I never did anything against my club. We had private conversations where I said everything.

“I have never been in a transfer market situation in 10 years. It was different. The last time was Marseille and this time the contract situation made it different because I had this clause [to extend my deal] after a number of games.

“For a period I was a free agent and who knows what could have happened then? I decided to stay silent because there was already enough noise around me. I didn’t want to make it worse because I wanted to stay focused on my game.”

Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Sean Walsh bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Chelsea's plans to sign Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana. There's the latest on James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frenkie de Jong, and chat on Diogo Jota's new deal and Roberto Firmino's Liverpool future. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

Winning that Club World Cup - the only piece of silverware missing from Azpilicueta's CV at the time - was a huge moment for Azpilicueta and one which prompted significant reflection about the future.

“It was a turning point,” he acknowledged. “I tried so hard to win this trophy. At that moment I felt differently. At that moment it was like, ‘wow, I have won everything for this club’, so maybe a new chapter arrives. It’s true that at the last break my performances were not as good as before.

“I paid a big price for playing from December to February. I think I played the most minutes and I did it playing wing-back. Of course, I am not getting younger and it is a position that demands a lot of energy every three days.

“I think all the emotions, feelings and tiredness made me feel like this. In the last two months [of the season], I wasn’t as good physically as before.”

Mentioned in this article

View publisher imprint