Azpilicueta: “The statement was what we had to do as national team players”


The player of the Spanish team César Azpilicueta affirmed this Tuesday that the statement issued by the entire squad of the last call rejecting “some unacceptable behavior” by Luis Rubiales, currently suspended president of the RFEF, for his kiss to the forward Jenni Hermoso It was what they had to do from their “responsibility” as footballers of the national team.

“Issuing the same statement, with commas and periods, is not easy, it took us our time. But it was what we considered we should do from our responsibility as players of the Spanish team”, the defender valued at a press conference from the City of Las Rozas football (Madrid).

The 34-year-old veteran footballer accompanied Álvaro Morata, first captain, and Rodri Hernández and Marco Asensio at the table from which the striker read a brief statement on the situation of the RFEF and the “unacceptable” conduct of Rubiales. The rest of the internationals listened while sitting in the room before carrying out the first training session to prepare for the EURO 2024 qualifying matches against Georgia and Cyprus.

Azpilicueta explained this Tuesday that this nation note once they all arrived at the concentration. “When we got together, we prepared it, the 24 of us agreed and issued the statement as quickly as we could. It is very difficult to agree with everyone with the same opinion, what we did was up to us, it was what we considered,” he argued.

“We come to a call with some events that are there, it is a reality, and then there is the sports one, we have a difficult situation. We have to give our best in both situations, we represent millions of Spaniards”, he assessed about the situation that the club is going through. Spanish football and the RFEF, focusing on the sporting aspect.

Thus, the full-back showed “total” respect for the decision of the world champions to resign from the national team and insisted on the “responsibility” that they must assume as footballers, also “for what has happened extra-sporting.” “Give your face, be an example for the next generations, football must set an example. We have that responsibility both on and off the field,” he reiterated.

In addition, Azpilicueta confessed that he has not spoken with either party, neither with Rubiales nor with the players. “I have no problem talking to them. For example, I had more contact with the women’s Chelsea players, I haven’t had any with the national team players, nor have I ever spoken with Rubiales. I’m always ready, I don’t have any problem”, described.

“Regarding appointments and resignations, I have never had any power. He explained himself, I have never spoken to him until yesterday, and we only talked about football. All of this surprised me, but he was the one who did those acts and the one who later issued the statement. Right now he is the coach, and we fight to win the next games”, he concluded about the coach, Luis de la Fuente, and his statement asking for forgiveness for applauding Rubiales’ words in the RFEF Assembly.


Also asked about the call from the young Barça player Lamine Yamal, the rojiblanco winger stressed that he is “a fantastic kid” and joked with his 16-year-old. “I debuted before he was born, I don’t know if he is very young or I am very old,” he ironized. “It’s a pleasure to see the kids with that self-confidence, you can see that they have special things. I didn’t have that self-confidence at 16 years old,” he acknowledged.

“My advice to youngsters is to give their all, I have never been a player with the greatest talent in the world. I grew up in the Tajonar youth academy, we learned strong values, and we know that managing frustration, expectations and the environments, with brutal pressure… I’ve seen many teammates who stay on the road and it was very good. The best advice is that they don’t waste any day”, he added.

After the first training session on Monday, the national team will do two more sessions, both in the morning, before flying to Tbilisi on Wednesday, the scene of their duel on Friday the 8th (6:00 p.m.) against Georgia, while on Tuesday the 12th, at 8:45 p.m., will receive Cyprus in Granada, in two qualifying matches for EURO 2024.

“The reality is that we are in a complicated situation, we are not in a favorable situation, two complicated games. We have already seen great teams that are left out of tournaments. Our objective is to qualify as soon as possible”, he remarked, since the selection accumulate a win and a loss in this qualifying phase.

The player could be in charge of defending the Georgian star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, “a player who makes a difference”. “He didn’t play in the game in Badajoz and I’ve never faced him. He can make a difference, he has a lot of speed. It’s a difficult team, it was won at the last breath, it’s a final, we’ll have to do our best to win”, analyzed.

Finally, Azpilicueta acknowledged that he was “sorry” and “raged” not to be in the League of Nations that Spain won, so winning a title with the team “would be the best.” “I also enjoyed a Euro Cup in 2021 without having played a minute in qualifying. Our responsibility is to leave them with the best situation for the Euro Cup in June, we will not be the same 24 who will go to the EURO, we have to give our best and meet the goals,” he repeated.

“I have not had any offer from another club in Spain, yes, I could enter the category of playing for Athletic because I am from Navarra, but I did not have that offer. I had another from a foreign team. We all agreed to leave for Atlético, it was the best”, he confessed about his return to LaLiga this summer.