Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta could not hold back his emotions as he said goodbye to Chelsea in a heartfelt video posted on the club's official Twitter account. The Spanish defender, who spent 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, is leaving the club on a free transfer to join La Liga side Atletico Madrid.
Azpilicueta, who joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2012 for £7 million, became one of the most successful and respected players in the club's history. The Spaniard won every major trophy with the Blues, including two Premier League titles, two Europa League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup.
In the video, Azpilicueta thanked the club, the fans, the staff, and his teammates for their support and love over the years. He said: "It is difficult to express with words what I feel. It has been incredible and just thank you, to everyone. This is my home and I hope to see everybody back here one day."
The defender also recalled some of his best moments with Chelsea, such as lifting the Champions League trophy in Porto, scoring his first goal against Arsenal in 2013, and celebrating with the fans at Stamford Bridge and away grounds.
Watch the video here:
He also made 508 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 17 goals and providing 56 assists. He captained the team since 2019 and was a key figure in the dressing room and on the pitch. The 33-year-old played in various positions across the defence and midfield, showing his versatility and reliability.
Azpilicueta's departure was confirmed by Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali, who praised him as a "warrior", a "champion" and a "loyal Chelsea legend". They said: "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."
Azpilicueta will now join Atletico Madrid, where he will reunite with his former Chelsea teammate Diego Costa. He will also play under Diego Simeone, who is known for his defensive style and intensity. Azpilicueta will hope to continue his winning mentality and leadership qualities at his new club.