The Blues bring the curtain down on the 2013/14 season later today against Championship-bound Cardiff City, with one of our most consistent performers hopeful of experiencing the winning feeling one last time before the players head off either on World Cup duty or holiday.
Manchester City’s success against Aston Villa in midweek means we can no longer win the Barclays Premier League title, but a victory against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in South Wales, coupled with a Liverpool defeat against Newcastle United, would see us secure a second-place finish.
For Cesar Azpilicueta who, if selected, will make his 50th Premier League appearance for the Blues, that in itself is enough of a reason to ensure we produce a strong display.
‘It’s important to end the season well,’ the defender tells the official Chelsea website.
‘Cardiff have already been relegated and we can’t win the title now, but we can still finish second and we want to finish in the best position possible. We want to win the game and make sure we finish in a good way.’
Since coming into the side at left-back earlier in the season, Azpilicueta has been a virtual ever-present. The two recent away matches against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid, however, saw the Spaniard revert to his more natural right-back position, with the Blues keeping clean sheets in both games.
‘It’s normal for me to play there but it’s important for us all to be able to adapt to different situations in different matches,’ he explains.
‘In modern football it helps if you can play in more than one position, which I’ve done this season, but I enjoyed playing at right-back for those two games and it’s not a problem for me to switch.’
With scoring goals the most important aspect of winning football matches, it’s no surprise that when the ball hits the back of the net, a sense of euphoria descends upon players and supporters alike.
Azpilicueta scored his first Chelsea goal at Arsenal in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, but when his team-mates find the target, there are few players who celebrate with as much passion as the 24-year-old.
‘When you have strong feelings inside it means a lot,’ he says. ‘When we lose, it’s not a nice experience and I’m sad when I go home, so when we score it means a lot.
‘To me, it’s a reward for all the hard work we are doing together as a squad and that’s probably why I seem so happy and celebrate so much.’
Today’s game will see Jose Mourinho’s side backed by a strong travelling contingent, as they have been throughout the campaign.
As a way of thanking our fans for their support, the club reduced the cost of the match ticket and travel for the trip to Cardiff City Stadium, with Azpilicueta praising the decision.
‘I think it’s a very good idea for the club to do that, particularly as it’s the last game of the season,’ he says.
‘Obviously the fans make a very big effort to travel to all the away games and for us it’s very important to have so many of them in the stadium, wherever we play, behind us.’