Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has explained his role in the matchwinning penalty in the Club World Cup final against Palmeiras.
Azpilicueta has explained how his quick thinking took any gamesmanship sting out of Kai Havertz’s Club World Cup-winning penalty.
Germany forward Havertz kept his cool to bury the last-gasp spot-kick in Abu Dhabi as Chelsea beat Palmeiras 2-1 after extra-time to lift their maiden Club World Cup crown.
Chelsea captain Azpilicueta immediately seized the ball on the award of the Blues’ penalty, however, appearing set to take the spot-kick himself.
But the 32-year-old Spain defender has now revealed it was all a ruse, designed to draw any Palmeiras antics to him and keep the pressure off Havertz.
“It was a tactic because I knew how they are, I knew they were coming for the penalty taker, so I took the ball,” Azpilicueta told Chelsea’s website.
“Kai knew that he was going to shoot, so it was to release the pressure from him. It was a decisive moment and Kai is one of the best penalty takers.
“I waited and listened to everything their players told me, and I think it worked which is the most important thing.”
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