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Chelsea confirm contract extension for Cesar Azpilicueta

Premier League giants Chelsea have confirmed that vice-captain Cesar Azpilicueta has penned a new long-term deal to keep him at the club until the summer of 2022. The Spain international has racked nearly 300 appearances during his six-and-a-half seasons with the Blues and he has now been rewarded with a fresh deal which would extend his association with the club for up to a decade.

“I am really happy to extend my stay here at Chelsea. Since I came, I felt the joy and responsibility to play for this club, these fans, and every time I go on the pitch I try do my best. Hopefully there is a lot to come and we can keep Chelsea where it belongs.” Azpilicueta told the club’s official website following the renewal.
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Maurizio Sarri continues to keep the faith on Giroud and Morata

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that he would continue to keep the faith on centre-forward duo Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud during the first half of the season. The pair have scored just one goal between them since the campaign started and this has generated doubts over their positions with a young Callum Hudson-Odoi waiting for an opportunity to impress.

However, speaking after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool, Sarri highlighted that both strikers add purpose to the squad despite their shortcomings in finding the scoresheet, he said: “I want to use Giroud and Morata because I think it’s right to use them in the first part of the season. You know the characteristics; Giroud is very important for his team-mates and I think Morata in the last 25 minutes was more aggressive than usual.”
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Juan Mata earning Spain recall under Luis Enrique

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is looking forward to fighting for a national team recall now that Luis Enrique has been appointed as Spain’s new manager. Mata barely featured under former boss Julen Lopetegui but he is now hoping for a change of fortunes under the guidance of the former Barcelona boss.

Speaking to ESPN, he said: “I was disappointed not to go (to the World Cup). But then after that, I was hoping for them to win. Now, things have changed. We have a new manager again, Luis Enrique… I’m again excited about the possibility of coming back. I obviously want to come back and try to play as many games as I can with the national team. I’m really excited about it and I think the future, it can be still bright for Spain, because we have young players coming that, as I said, they have the level to compete.”
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Luis Enrique – The New Head Coach Of Spain

Luis Enrique would be the new coach of La Roja and the announcement was made at the event hosted by the Spanish Football Federation. Enrique said that he is delighted to take up the project. He showed excitement and said is ready to take up the challenge. He would give it his best shot and eagerly wait to win the upcoming competitions.

Luis Rubiales, the president of the Federation is totally relying on Enrique especially post Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal and the resignation of Fernando Hierro. The president said that Enrique was the only coach they approached and everything was quite straightforward due to his passion and commitment to football. The management is ready to do everything to ensure that the head coach is comfortable. Enrique has been described as a modern coach with an excellent work methodology by Jose Francisco Molina, the new technical director of the federation.
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Alvaro Morata Thanks Teammate For Another Key Assist

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was thankful to compatriot Cesar Azpilicueta for his assist during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton. The Spain international has had a rough time in front of goal in 2018 but he managed to contribute versus the Saints with a delightful header which sealed a 2-0 victory for the Blues.

 

Following the game, Morata was thankful to Azpilicueta, who has contributed seven assists in the Premier League this term. Surprisingly enough, each of those assists have been for Morata and the Spaniard was quick to praise the central defender, he said: “It was a very good match.I could have scored another goal at the last moment, I was a little bit unlucky but we are in the final and that’s the most important thing, we are happy.I always say thanks to Azpi because this year he knows where I want the ball and it’s great to have all of the assists from him.” (more…)

Andriy Shevchenko Urges Alvaro Morata To Step Up His Game

Former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko has urged Alvaro Morata to step up his game after the Blues’ succumbed to back-to-back defeats in the Premier League. The Spain international struggled to make much of an impression against Manchester United last month, and this saw him start on the bench for the Manchester City game, where the Blues were dominated from the off.


Speaking on iNews, Shevchenko believes Morata needs to improve on his overall finishing after having wasted numerous opportunities over the course of the season, he said: “I’ve seen a lot of him. He’s had a lot of chances. I think you need to improve the finishing when you have these chances. It’s a good sign [for the team] when a striker has chances like this, it’s very positive. You need them for scoring goals and helping the team to win.”
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Chelsea boss urges Alvaro Morata to overcome stupid confidence

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has urged Alvaro Morata to overcome his ‘stupid’ confidence after going through a difficult streak with the Blues. The Spain international had not scored for the club since Boxing Day, and he did himself no favours last week after he was sent off against the Norwich City in the FA Cup third-round replay.

The Blues continued to beat the Canaries on penalties, and they have since thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion by a 4-0 scoreline on the road. Speaking ahead of the League Cup semi-final versus Arsenal, Conte supported the striker through his difficult but wants the Spaniard to overcome his ‘stupid’ problems in order to regain his goalscoring form.
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Antonio Conte hails Eden Hazard-Alvaro Morata partnership

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hailed the partnership of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata following the Blues’ 1-1 draw versus Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. The pair were in a constant presence in the Reds half during the course of the game, and Conte was ultimately disappointed to have come out with only a draw.

Spain international Alvaro Morata started the season as the main man in the Blues attack, but Hazard has left his mark on the playing field ever since his return from an ankle injury. The former Lille man has been contributing constantly towards the club’s progress in recent weeks, and the Anfield game was no different as he popped up with a defining assist for Willian’s freak goal in the 85th minute.
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Lopetegui Reveals Decision behind Costa Exit from Spain

Spain national team coach Julen Lopetegui has confirmed that striker Diego Costa will be included in the national team fold only when he sorts out his future.


The striker has been unable to feature in the Chelsea first-team nor has he been able to secure the transfer to Atletico Madrid. Both clubs have been unable to agree on a transfer fee before the end of the summer transfer window. As a result, Costa will be remaining as a Chelsea player – without playing – until January. Chelsea are demanding around £ 50 million for his signature while Atletico are not prepared to pay more than £ 30 million.

Since coming to Chelsea in 2014 for around £ 32 million, he has been one of the top players in the Premier League and has been able to score the highest number of goals at Chelsea for three consecutive campaigns. (more…)

David Villa Recalled to Spain Squad for Italy and Liechtenstein Games

Spain national team boss took the surprise step of bringing backLopetegui to the national team fold for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers.


Spain are up against Italy and Liechtenstein September. The national team has to win these games in order to seal qualification to the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Spain are top of the group G, but they are only in this position due to a better goal difference than Italy. A positive result for the latter in the upcoming fixture would be disastrous for Spain, as it would mean a possible play-off place for the team.

The contest in the next four matches will only be about the top two places. ManagerLopetegui recognises the importance of having some of the best players in the squad. As a result, he has gone back to the basics by bringing in David Villa – the record goalscorer for Spain with 59 in his 97 appearances. (more…)