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"In England, everyone calls me Dave - even on the street"

AS AS 08/06/2014 As.com

Chelsea full-back César Azpilicueta sat down with AS’ intrepid reporters Matallanas and Marota in the first of AS TV’s ‘Café con La Roja´ series of informal interviews with the squad during 2014 World Cup Brazil. The trio had plenty to talk about – the main topic however, was the summer showpiece event itself, as Azpilicueta and his team mates prepare to defend the trophy.

“I’m just happy to be in the list of 23. I’ve worked hard all season for this – it was the objective for a lot of players since the start of the campaign; every player dreams of being here and seeing my name in the list with all the competition there is... I’m really happy,” the Chelsea player explained.

Azpilicueta’s versatility was one of the key considerations for Vicente Del Bosque when he was drawing up his squad list for Brazil but the defender insists he must win his place in the starting XI. “First choice? No. I just consider myself to be one of the 23 players in the squad and that is a feat in itself. I’m ambitious and I want to play as much as I can but there’s a lot of competition and team always come first”.

The 24-year-old says that he feels lucky to be receiving his football education from two coaches who have different approaches and ideas on the game - Del Bosque and José Mourinho. But what is the Chelsea manager like to work under?

“Right from the first day, when I began training under him, it was clear that he is a very different coach. He’s always shown faith in me and it’s just a shame that we couldn’t win any trophies during his first year back with us. We came close though and with a few great signings and the team maturing, hopefully we’ll win something”.

Those summer signings could include Atlético de Madrid frontman and Spain team mate Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, rumoured to be poised to return to London. Azpilicueta claims to have heard no news regarding Costa but is in no doubt at all that he would fit into the Chelsea set-up. “Yes, definitely! Physically, Diego is very strong and the Premier League is very demanding in that aspect. I’m sure he’ll adapt – he can adapt to any situation”.

During his time at Real Betis, Bosnian defender Faruk Hadžibegić was referred to as ‘Pepe’ by supporters. And like him, Azpilicueta also has an adopted name at Stamford Bridge, where amongst the fans, he is simply ‘Dave’. “It’s a bit strange really because in the song that they sing about me, they pronounce my name perfectly. I’ve got a strange surname so I can understand why people just call me Dave. It’s their way of showing me affection, there’s a series on TV too with a character who has an unpronounceable last name - and he gets called Dave too”.

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