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Football

Thread Breaks Down Exactly Why César Azpilicueta Acted As A Decoy For Palmeira's Mind Games

Jack Kenmare

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Thread Breaks Down Exactly Why César Azpilicueta Acted As A Decoy For Palmeira's Mind Games

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta played a crucial role in last night's Club World Cup win against Palmeiras when he acted a decoy for mind games - and a detailed Twitter thread has brilliantly explained it all.

The 32-year-old defender became the first player in Chelsea history to win every major trophy after Thomas Tuchel's side scraped past their Brazilian opponents with a 2-1 win after extra-time.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for the Blues before Raphael Veiga equalised from 12 yards.

The game went to extra-time and it looked like the final was heading to penalties but in the 115th minute, Chelsea were awarded a spot-kick following a VAR check.

Step forward, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who absorbed all of the pressure onto himself before Kai Havertz converted.

So how did they do it? And why? You can read the brilliant thread from football psychology researcher Geir Jordet that explains the process below.

After the full-time whistle, Azpilicueta opened up about his thought process behind being that all-important decoy before Kai Havertz slotted home.

"It was a tactic because I knew how they are, I knew they were coming for the penalty taker, so I took the ball," said the Chelsea skipper.

"Kai knew that he was going to shoot so it was to release the pressure from him. It was a decisive moment and Kai is one of the best penalty takers.

"I waited and listened to everything their players told me, and I think it worked which is the most important thing."

Havertz, meanwhile, confirmed he was feeling the pressure before taking the crucial kick 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 in his post-match interview.

“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.”

Featured Image Credit: @GeirJordet/Twitter

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

Jack Kenmare
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