Azpilicueta working for World Cup

Cesar Azpilicueta has vowed to work hard between now and the end of the season to earn a place at the World Cup.

The Chelsea defender was called into the squad to play Italy by Vicente Del Bosque after a run of starts at club level, mostly at left back.

Azpilicueta told Marca that his new-found versatility could help him go to Brazil this summer, something he will work hard to achieve.

“I strive to be at the World Cup in Brazil and I work hard every day to get there,” the former Marseille defender said.

“There is great competition in this, the best team in the world. It’s a dream for me and I will work to be in the World Cup.

“I’m playing more on the left but in recent years I’ve played mostly on the right. Gradually I’ve been growing on the left as I’ve played most minutes there.

“I’m enjoying my new position. I’m lucky I can play on both sides.

“Jose Mourinho thought I could contribute to the team from there. It started with the fact Ashley Cole was injured.

“Until then I wasn’t playing but all I thought of was getting minutes to help Chelsea.

“Gradually I felt better at left back and found some continuity.”

Azpilicueta continued by paying tribute to his club manager for helping him get back in the national team fold.

“Mourinho has helped me return for Spain. He always helped me, even when I wasn’t playing.

“The Coach always showed me his trust and the work we did is being reflected now. I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Mourinho went so far as to say that a team of Azpilicuetas would win the Champions League.

“I was proud and satisfied when he said that,” Azpilicueta revealed.

“It means he’s happy with my work. Now more than ever I’ll try to repay that trust and give my all because I know with the players Chelsea have it can be difficult to play.

“I’m playing regularly with Chelsea and we’re getting good results. Being called by Vicente Del Bosque has also made me very excited.”

Azpilicueta’s Chelsea teammate Fernando Torres was left out of the squad by Del Bosque but the defender says Torres is as motivated as ever to play for Spain.

“All the players left out want to be here. Fernando has been injured and hopefully we’ll see his best and he can return to the team,” he said.

Diego Costa was included by Del Bosque as one of only two orthodox strikers. Azpilicueta noted that Costa has been treated the same as any other new cap.

“He’s a very shy boy who has adapted very well to the group,” he said of the Atletico Madrid forward.

“When I arrived I was given a great welcome. It’s been the same for Diego.”

Tags Azpilicueta Chelsea Jose Mourinho Spain World Cup 2014