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18 Aug H Arsenal English Premier League
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Cesar Azpilicueta Interview


Following on from our interview with Blues keeper Petr Cech, we catch up with Chelsea left-back Cesar Azpilicueta to find out about his younger days, how he got into football and who has influenced him in the game!

What age did you start at Osasuna?
I was 12. Before that I played for my school until the age of 11, but in the last year before I joined Osasuna I was training with them once a week as well as playing for the school.

Which positions did you play?
I was always a striker when I was younger. Sometimes I played on the right wing or at right-back but I was a striker until the age of around 15 or 16. In the reserve team at Osasuna I sometimes played right-back or left-back, but not regularly. Then, at the age of about 18, I became right-back in the first team.

Did you play with any players who went on to become well known?
Not in my age group, but Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) and Raul Garcia were two or three years older than me. Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich) was also at Osasuna but he left without ever playing in the first team.

Any influential coaches?
Every manager or trainer was important but every couple of years they changed because you move age groups. I just tried to learn as much as I could from all of them and try to improve.

Did you live close to the training ground?
Yes, Pamplona isn't very big so it was close, just about 10 minutes away.

What type of music did you listen to as a young player?
There wasn’t really one artist or band I liked, I just listened to a bit of everything.

Any embarrassing clothes or dodgy haircuts?
I had a few bad experiences but nothing too serious, probably when I was around 16 or 17, like everybody does. I’ve certainly never put colour in my hair.

Most important piece of advice received?
I’ve had lots but sometimes it’s about just watching how people act or train, they don’t have to actually say anything, you just try to follow their example.

Do you remember the moment you signed a professional contract?
It was a bit different because I was playing with the Under 19s and after a month I was in the reserve team. The same season, in February, I made my first team debut and then I was between both teams.

I started the following season with the first team and then came back to the reserves because I wasn’t playing, before moving back to the first team in October or November, so I had a reserve contract but in the same year I got a professional contract.

Most memorable goal as a young player?
I scored a lot of goals, even though people might not think so. I scored a lot of goals from inside the penalty area rather than long distance but I can't pick one out.