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Azpi announces Chelsea exit and heads for Atleti
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Rob Ellis
Cesar Azpilicueta played more than 500 games for Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta played more than 500 games for Chelsea

Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a one-year contract with Atletico Madrid after announcing his departure from Chelsea.

Spanish defender Azpilicueta, 33, made 508 appearances for the Blues having moved to West London from Marseille in 2012.

He won nine major honours at Stamford Bridge, skippering the side to triumphs in the 2019 Europa League, 2021 Champions League and 2021 Club World Cup finals.

In an Instagram post, Azpilicueta — affectionately known to fans as Dave — said: "This is, without doubt, the hardest letter I have ever had to write, but I want to be the one to share this with you.

"After 11 incredible seasons proudly keeping the blue flag flying high, the time has come for me to leave Chelsea.

"Our journey together started on August 24, 2012. After waiting impatiently to travel to London, my first day as a Chelsea player finally became a reality.

"From the first moment I wore the blue shirt, I felt right at home.

"I will always remember the butterflies in my stomach as I looked at all the trophies and successful moments posted on the wall of the training ground, a success that a young Azpi wanted to emulate.

"I could not have imagined to be here today after 508 appearances, winning nine trophies and becoming your captain.

"Adriana and I arrived in London as a young couple and we are leaving as a family of five, with our kids having been born and raised in England.

"Our bond with the city and the club will remain forever."

With one year remaining on his contract, Azpilicueta will now return to his homeland and link up with Diego Simeone's Atletico.

He joins Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, Edouard Mendy, Kai Havertz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, N'Golo Kante and Mason Mount in leaving the Premier League outfit this summer.

A club statement read: "Azpilicueta will always retain the gratitude of those at Chelsea for his crucial role on and off the pitch during such a successful period for the club.

"Congratulations and good luck, Cesar. We'll be forever grateful."


Cesar AzpilicuetaChelseaAtletico MadridLaLigaPremier League
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