Cesar Azpilicueta has reflected on Spain’s ambitions at the Confederations Cup, his own at Chelsea and on how he has adapted to playing abroad.
The full-back is a member of Vicente del Bosque’s squad at this summer’s international tournament in Brazil, his first with the senior squad.
“I’m finding it very comfortable in the Confederations Cup. This is a training camp that is at a high level. I’m satisfied with the results so far,” reflected Azpilicueta in an interview with Marca.
“My role? I have not spoken to the Coach about that. Everybody wants to play, obviously because we always want to do more, but we know how hard it is to play with the competition that there is.
“We are in the best team in the world and everyone has their role that they play. You have to work to the fullest and take advantage of your opportunities.”
The 23-year-old was asked if Spain would consider it a failure to not win the Confederations Cup.
“We cannot speak of the word ‘failure’ because this team has made history in the last three competitions.
“The last three they have played for they have won and it is of course true that the more you win the closer you are to losing.
“We do not think about that, just about playing the next game. We must go step by step. That’s the key to the success of this team.
“Our semi-final opponents? In the other group Italy was the last finalist of the European Championship and Brazil are the hosts playing with great desire.
“They are tough opponents and the semi-finals will be very difficult.”
Azpilicueta has been playing outside of Spain since 2010, first with Marseille and then with Chelsea.
“It is not hard to live outside of Spain. At 21 I took the step to go to Marseille. I knew it was a different step to other young players.
“At first I struggled a bit but then it helped me as a person and a player. It helped me even more when I moved to London.
“There it was a bit of a harsh climate because I had just come from Marseille, but now I am very happy.
“The first two months at Chelsea I struggled. I played two games in that time. Then I gained the confidence of [then manager Roberto] Di Matteo and in his final few games I managed to play.
“With the arrival of Rafa Benitez I played many games. We had a run of six games in 18 days and I played all six. There was clearly a little fatigue there but I was happy.
“I have known Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu from the youth set-up in Spain. I didn’t know Fernando Torres before but from the first day all three helped me.”
The full-back will now be working under former Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho.
“Hopefully I can continue to win silverware. Last season was different because we were eliminated in the group stages of the Champions League and that does not usually happen.
“Hopefully next year will be very good. In the dressing room we have spoken a little about him and everyone is very happy with his first spell at Chelsea. I hope that this one will also be satisfactory.”