Cesar Azpilicueta on how to travel like a club legend
The city of Pamplona is significant for several reasons. It’s home to Miguel Indurain, the only man to win the Tour de France. It’s also the birthplace of Cordero al Chilindrón - a slow-cooked lamb and pepper-based stew that looks a bit like something you’d get for your school dinner on a bad day, but tastes delicious.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Pamplona is the hometown of César Azpilicueta, the man who has made more appearances for Chelsea Football Club than any other non-English player in history. Azpi started his career in Pamplona, playing for Osasuna. He made his debut in a 2–0 to Real Madrid. He was 17 years old and he’d have been playing against Raúl and Ruud Van Nistelrooy — what’s baptism of fire in Basque? Azpi went on a classic right-back’s journey in that he started as a forward and a midfielder, before being thrown in at right-back during an injury crisis, excelling, and making a magnificent career out of it.
Olympique Marseille came knocking pretty quickly, but Azpi’s French adventure only lasted for a couple of seasons before Chelsea took the plunge on him and, well, you know the rest. He’s still there, club captain, club legend, part of the furniture. He’s travelled Spain, France, England, and he’s been playing European football for twelve-and-a-half years, so who better to give us a few travel tips, than César Azpilicueta?