Tuchel says Chelsea’s ‘unexpected leader’ is an "honour" to coach every day

Chelsea's boss Thomas Tuchel has sent a class message to his 'unexpected leader' Cesar Azpilicueta in the Blues dressing room.

Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge last January after the Blues had dismissed Frank Lampard, and Chelsea were stumbling around mid-table.

Azpilicueta, on the other hand, arrived in London in 2012 after leaving Marseille for £7million, and he has been a mainstay at Stamford Bridge ever since.

But Tuchel has been surprised at the Spaniard's leadership qualities in and around the dressing room.

The German was full of compliments for his captain, who has made over 300 Premier League appearances over the past decade.

"What you see on a match day is what I see everyday," Tuchel told Chelsea's official website as Azpilicueta hit the milestone.

"He lives his role. He is maybe not the leader that you would sometimes expect from outside or in general that we as people expect leaders to be – loud and extroverted.

"He is not this. He is very emotional but he is calm, he leads by example. He is not giving speeches every day.

"When you put him in every single exercise, you know what the level is up to. The captain is in top shape, has had sleep and looks after himself."

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And Tuchel's praise wasn't just limited to his leadership qualities: "To play 300 matches at that kind of level and to win so many trophies, you deserve it.

"There is no luck behind it, it is all down to hard work and determination.

"It is a pure pleasure to be his coach and an honour.

"Azpi is so focused, honest, a sports guy and such a competitor. He is so open and focused on his best performances everyday.

"He is a fantastic captain, a great player and just a really good guy too."

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Tuchel led Chelsea to the Champions League title last season.

And his Chelsea side have had an excellent start to the Premier League with two wins and a draw to Liverpool to their name.

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