Chelsea’s star defener Cesar Azpilicueta has vowed to break his previous record and make club history after being dropped to the bench by Antonio Conte against Swansea City last week.
The Spanish Blues defender made 74 consecutive starts in the Premier League, playing full ninety minutes in each game, before finally being rested in Chelsea’s 1-0 win over the Swans last Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
The reign Premier League champions are currently in a tough run of fixtures, as the Blues have now played Swansea, Newcastle and Atletico Madrid in only a space of seven days. The Londoners’ upcoming games see them play West Ham away this Saturday, visiting the league’s new boys Huddersfield Town just three days after.
Azpilicueta’s run may have come to an end last week, but the 28-year-old is determined to break his previous record as he looks forward to the final games of the year.
I never thought about the amount of games I played in a row, 90 minutes in all of them.
But I would try to beat that mark, and I’m pleased for the number of games because I know it’s difficult.
Of course I want to play every game. We are a team, the manager makes the best decisions for the team. He sees the performance, the training.
Azpilicueta was a starter in the Blues’ 1-1 draw with Atletico on Tuesday which saw the side finish second in Champions League’s Group C – something that the team wanted to avoid to be able to play the second leg of knock-out phase at home.
It’s true that if you finish first, you play the second leg at home.
It’s a bit of a difference but, honestly, when you go into the last 16 of the Champions League, you have to face big, big teams and we have to show our level.
But it’s not only us. If we finished first, we could also face big teams. Real Madrid, the current champions, also finished second.
– Cesar Azpilicueta, Metro