Chelsea defeated Palmeiras 2-1 in the FIFA Club World Cup final match to be crowned champions. After that game, Cesar Azpilicueta became the first Chelsea player to win every available trophy while playing for the club. At domestic level, the 32-year old has won the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.  At European level, he has won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup. Then at world level, he has won the FIFA Club World Cup. However, not everyone thinks he is such a great defender.

Has Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta Done Enough to Be Listed Among Premier League’s Greatest Defenders?

Luck or Talent: The Secret Behind Azpilicueta’s Success

Former Crystal Palace and Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock claimed Azpilicueta was only a lucky player. Speaking on talkSPORT, he said;

“I think it goes two ways to be honest.

“I think Azpilicueta has been a very fortunate lad to be at a club like Chelsea. I don’t think he is a great defender.

“Sometimes in football you need a bit of luck and I think he’s had a bit of luck at the right time and in the right place.

“That’s what you need in football, you need a bit of luck to be successful.”

Azpilicueta has spent ten seasons in the Premier League and has made over 300 appearances. Great Premier League defenders like Nemanja Vidic, Jaap Stam and Marcel Desailly all made lesser appearances. However, does Azpilicueta rank amongst the very best of Premier League’s defenders since 1992?

Defenders are not often recognized and so it’s impressive when they win individual honours. Azpilicueta was named Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year in 2013/14. He made the UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season in 2018/19. Then in 2020/21, he made the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season. He has definitely left his mark in football. But at the end of his career, will he be recognized among the top 10 greatest defenders in the Premier League? Will he get to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame in the coming years? Or will he be overlooked as a player lucky to play in a good team?

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