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Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is a gift for every manager

Cesar Azpilicueta has been an ever-present figure for Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge in late January and the Spaniard has been a rock in defence.

Playing on the right of a back three, Azpilicueta has played every minute of Tuchel's nine Premier League games in charge, while he also played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Chelsea have let in just two goals in those matches with solid performances from the Blues captain helping the west Londoners shut out the likes of Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton.

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Of course, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have done their part as well, but the 31-year-old, who many felt was past his best, has shown that he still has plenty left in the tank and offers a great deal of leadership at the back.

Speaking about Azpilicueta, Tuchel told Chelsea's 5th Stand app: "I have the maximum respect for him, he's unbelievable. What a pleasure, what a gift to have a captain like this. I believe from my heart the importance of captains in teams.

"If you have a guy so humble, so full of quality, so ready to give everything for the team, to have the mentality of a water carrier, to help everyone on and off the pitch, a smile every day in training, every time ready – it's a gift for every manager and in my belief for every team. He is key.

"I truly believe every team takes the mentality of their top guys, of their captains. He deserves the praise for that."

Azpilicueta has become a mainstay in Tuchel’s starting XI and the west London side are profiting from his fine form at the back.


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