The Spaniard has gone from an unheralded signing from Marseille in 2012 to captaining the club this season.
Speaking on his early career with the Blues, Azpilicueta told the Daily Mail: "Most of them didn't know who I was.
"There wasn't a big fee or a lot of talk about me as a player. I knew I would have to fight. I knew many players came here and had to go on loan because they couldn't find their place.
"My first game in a Chelsea shirt was for the Under-23s on an academy pitch. I remember it well. My first months, nearly every time on the bench. I didn't play a lot but I didn't think to quit. This was a massive opportunity for me and from the bench, I thought I could start to learn and understand the English game.
"Ivanovic was in my position. Branna was an amazing player, great passion and desire and I watched how he would counter-attack on the set-plays. We scored lots of goals like this. So, in the League Cup against Arsenal, in my second year, I tried my luck and that's how I came by my first Chelsea goal."