Cesar Azpilicueta is very unlikely to say anything remotely controversial in an interview, so it’s often hard to pick out pieces of interest when he talks to the Spanish media.
The Chelsea defender is an absolute professional and clearly very happy at the Premier League club, and that’s how his chat with Spanish newspaper AS started.
Asked by AS if he’s happy in London, Azpilicueta said: “Very. But let me tell you, I’ve felt that way from the first day.”
The Spanish newspaper put it to the Chelsea star that he always looks happy when he’s playing, to which he simply answered: “I am.”
On whether there’s excitement in the Chelsea dressing room ahead of the matches against Barcelona, Azpilicueta explained: “I can tell you that we are very excited to be able to move to the quarterfinals, although it will not be easy. In this competition respect is always very necessary.
“It is always interesting to play against a team that has many of the best players in the world. Barça plays well, knows what to do at all times and the challenge is exciting.”
Asked to describe how Antonio Conte is, there was just one word from the Spaniard: “Demanding.”
AS wanted to know just how demanding: “Very. A guy who knows he can and should ask for the maximum of the squad.”
And Roman Abramovich: “Chelsea is here because of the investment he made and his commitment. He is a very discreet person, sometimes he’s there and you don’t know it.”
Asked if the Chelsea owner gets involved with the squad, Azpilicueta said: “No, not that. He is the owner, but respects spaces well.”