Cesar Azpilicueta reveals Thomas Tuchel’s secret to winning the Champions League with Chelsea

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Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed how Thomas Tuchel re-energized a struggling Chelsea team to become Champions League winners in 2021.

Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss in January 2021 and guided Chelsea to Champions League glory less than five months later.

Chelsea were a lowly ninth in the Premier League table when Tuchel took over from Lampard as Chelsea boss.

Azpilicueta detailed how Tuchel helped bring everybody together at the club, forming a closer bond than the players perhaps had before, and helped the players find their confidence.

“Well, the focus was where we could control, which was the training session to prepare the game, the confidence as well from the whole team. I felt a strong connection, everybody in the group, everybody was involved,” Azpilicueta told BT Sport.

“You know, the ones that we were lucky to play a bit more, the ones that they were on the bench. We created that atmosphere that, for myself, I believe it was the success of the season when we ended up winning the Champions League.

“Even though we missed the FA Cup and we struggled to finish in the top four until the last day, but then to have the opportunity of course, to win the Champions League is a big success.”

Speaking about Tuchel’s decision to switch to three centre-backs, Azpilicueta added: “With Frank, I was, you know, I was not okay. It was a season where I was used to play every single game in every single competition, even before with Frank, and you know that competition is always welcome.

“Reece was playing more games, the system we were playing with four at the back, but the season before we were playing with three. So in terms of system, okay we switch a little bit and, you know, Thomas when he arrived, he gave me the confidence, the trust, he believed in myself that I’d be really useful for a team in a back three on the right.

“And of course, you know, as a player, you want to be as much as you can on the pitch. That’s why I train every single time as hard as I can to earn my spot.”