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Cesar Azpilicueta's Mind Games Before Kai Havertz's Winning Penalty In Club World Cup Final Were Genius

Josh Lawless

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Cesar Azpilicueta's Mind Games Before Kai Havertz's Winning Penalty In Club World Cup Final Were Genius

Featured Image Credit: Image: Channel 4

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta displayed an incredible level of footballing intelligence prior to Kai Havertz's extra time winner in the Club World Cup final.

Havertz scored the goal that secured a second Champions League triumph for Chelsea in Porto and came up clutch again on the big stage when he kept his cool from the spot in the 117th minute vs Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.


He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and rolled the penalty in to clinch the one major trophy Chelsea had not won previously.

Image: PA
Image: PA

But Azpilicueta's mind games beforehand were absolutely crucial.

The Spaniard grabbed the ball and it genuinely looked like he was going to take the pressure penalty himself.

That wasn't the case. However, what the former Marseille man was doing, was absorbing all of the mind games from the opposition.

They expended all their energy trying to get in his head, not knowing that he wasn't even the taker.

He passed the ball to Havertz and the forward, relieved from all of the pressure, then did the business from 12 yards.

It was just world-class work from Azpilicueta, who has now won absolutely everything there is to win with Chelsea.

After the game, he confirmed he knew exactly what he was doing with his antics.

Havertz, meanwhile, explained just how he was feeling before the penalty that crowned Chelsea as champions of the world.

“I was [nervous], I was to be honest. I mean it’s a big penalty – just crazy. I think it was good I kept the nerves and very happy,” the German said post-match, as per

“I was the third penalty taker. Jorgi and Rom they both were out so I was the only one on the pitch and the other players gave me trust. Hakim, Azpi, everybody they said you do it and I did it.

“I don’t know what to say, I mean I’ve dreamed always of this amazing feeling for me. I’m thankful for everybody, my family, my girlfriend, everyone and yeah just a big thanks to them.”

Azpilicueta is set to leave Chelsea on a free in the summer but will undoubtedly having claimed a clean sweep of trophies, will go down as a Blues legend.

Topics: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea, FIFA Club World Cup, Premier League

Josh Lawless
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