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Chelsea boss Tuchel makes glowing tribute to Azpilicueta: Fantastic captain and fantastic sportsman

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Cesar Azpilicueta embodies the values of the club.

The Blues captain was deployed as a right wing-back in the win over West Ham on Saturday rather than his preferred right-sided centre-back role.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid, Tuchel had no qualms about Azpi's ability to adapt.

"He's fantastic and I want him absolutely to be on the pitch because he's a fantastic captain and a fantastic sportsman," Tuchel said.

"He is everything Chelsea means in my point of view – he's humble, he's a fighter, he thinks constantly about winning and he does everything to be in shape every three days.

"He's a true professional and there is no work too hard or distance too long for him.

"We used him as a wing-back and it was a bit hard because he had to do several long runs. It was a bit different for him but we chose the back three with Andreas, Toni and Thiago because we knew about West Ham's strength in set-pieces and we wanted to gain some centimetres in height.

"Azpi is totally open to anything once he sees the reason why. He was very excited to be involved a bit more offensively and it's nice to have this. The two positions [wing-back and full-back] suit him very well and he's absolutely reliable."

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