Barcelona interested in Cesar Azpilicueta as his at Chelsea FC will end in the summer.
Cesar Azpilicueta has brushed off questions about his future ahead of Chelsea’s Club World Cup semi-final against Al Hilal.
Having won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Super Cup during his decade-long stint at Stamford Bridge, the Club World Cup is the last major trophy missing from Azpilicueta’s collection. He was on the losing side in the final in 2012, when Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Corinthians in Yokohama.
Nonetheless, with his contract set to run out in June, he fielded several questions on his plans for the summer. Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing him, though according to The Athletic the Chelsea hierarchy are still optimistic that they can convince him to extend his current deal.
Azpilicueta was in no mood to address the situation so close to the Blues’ trip to Abu Dhabi. Asked whether completing a full set of major trophies with Chelsea would influence his thinking on his next career move, he said: “My future is not the most important thing right now.
“Of course, my main target is to win the trophy and then we will see what happens with my future… I think everyone is trying to create their own history within the history of the club.
“Through the years, we’ve seen many, many world-class players, managers, and everybody at the club try to help increase the trophy cabinet of this club and we are part of it. When the time arrives, you want to make the most of it.
“It’s true we have our own opportunity to create history and to win a trophy nobody has won at Chelsea. Hopefully, we are the ones to do it.”
Asked directly whether he wants to stay at Chelsea beyond the summer, Azpilicueta batted away the question. “I’m not going to speak about my future,” he said. “We are right now one day before the semi-final of the tournament.
“Of course, I arrived in the summer of 2012 and I didn’t have kids, my kids were born in London, so you know how I feel about Chelsea. But I am not going to comment on that.”
As for the match against Al Hilal, last season’s AFC Champions League winners, Azpilicueta made it clear that Chelsea aren’t taking their opponents lightly.
“Al Hilal is a very dangerous team,” he said. “We know they have a strong attacking force, players we’ve played against like [Matheus] Pereira and [Moussa] Marega with Porto in the Champions League.
“They have experience and normally try to be offensive. We have to be defensively solid to try to avoid their offense and make the most of it. The intensity of the Premier League, we have to bring here from the first minute. We have to be positive and try to create opportunities.
“It’s a semi-final and, of course, we have to work hard to get into the final.”
Azpilicueta also recalled the pain of losing to Corinthians in 2012, admitting that it will be a motivating factor this time around. “I think after 10 years I’ve realised how difficult it is to win [the Club World Cup],” he said.
“We lost the final at that time against Corinthians and I had a different feeling. It was my first season, we were in every competition, maybe it looked like it was easier than it is. And then with time you realise how difficult it is, first of all to qualify in the Premier League for the Champions League, and then go all the way to win that, and then to be here.
“So we have to make the most of it, starting with tomorrow’s game. But it is going to be very difficult and, hopefully, that bad experience will help in this tournament.
“I am really motivated. Losing that one in 2012, it hurt a lot and to win it for the first time for the club would be huge.”