Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has admitted he is ‘not proud’ of defying former boss Maurizio Sarri’s orders when he infamously refused to be substituted against Manchester City in last season’s Carabao Cup final.
The 24-year-old waved away Sarri’s orders when the Italian tried to introduce Willy Caballero in the dying moments of extra-time – a game the Blues lost on penalties.
Speaking about the incident to El Larguero on Spanish network Cadena SER, Kepa again expressed his regret over his actions that day – which he said happened in the heat of the moment.
“I’m not proud of what happened. I lived in a storm that week,” he said.
“It was a situation that I hadn’t lived and that came to me in a flash. Everything went very fast, with many keystrokes.
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“I apologised, he explained to me what he had felt. Internally, it was finished the next day.
“It was an unpleasant situation, but we left in a good way and from there we made a great end of the season.”
Kepa, who was fined a week’s wages for the incident, is currently away on international duty with Spain who face Romania and the Faroe Islands in the coming days.
Last summer, Liverpool signed Alisson for £67million and Chelsea brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga for a goalkeeper world-record £71million fee, while in January 2018 the Reds spent £75m on Virgil van Dijk.
Juventus star Ronaldo told Portuguese broadcaster TV1: “It’s difficult to make calculations in modern football.
“Clubs gamble a lot on potential and the football industry is different.
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“Leaving the case of Joao Felix (who joined Atletico Madrid for £113million) to the side, any player can go for €100million, even without showing anything.
“There is more money in football. A centre-back and a goalkeeper can go for €70million or €80million.
“I don’t agree (with it) but it’s the world that we live in and you have to respect it.”
The former England international knows exactly what the Blaugrana are all about, having been a part of several memorable fIxtures between the sides – captaining the side for the the Champions League semi-final in 2011
“Barcelona are a team that I have some great memories of playing against, some good and some bad,” he told the club’s official website.
“I have always had a huge respect for them because when you play against Barcelona you know you are playing against, they say, more than a club, and I agree with that.
“We are very proud to be here to play this match.”
Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong are set to make their debuts for Barcelona, but Ernesto Valverde is set to be without a number of star names.
For Chelsea, both Tammy Abraham and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga could be back after missing the defeat to Kawasaki Frontale through illness.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante has returned to the UK to undergo further rehab for a knee injury sustained towards the end of last season. The France international has not played a part in Chelsea’s pre-season thus far.
Chelsea are also without long-term absentees Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian and Antonio Rudiger as they continue their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.
Predicted Chelsea team
Although Christian Pulisic got his first minutes in a Chelsea shirt last time out, expect to see the experienced Pedro start initially against his former side.
Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen are both likely to be vying for a starting berth alongside David Luiz next season, with Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta first choice full-backs.
Mason Mount and Ross Barkley have arguably been the stand-out performers for the Blues so far, Tiemoue Bakayoko is enjoying a strong return to form as well.
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If you’re going to play you need to have a top defence, as well as a talented attack and no position is more important than that of the goalkeeper.
You only get one, so you don’t want to waste any of your three transfers per month on your shot-stopper.
If you’re going to win big, you need a reliable performer capable of earning the odd Star Man award and regular 7/10 displays on WhoScored to gain vital points.
But managers will also not want to spend too much money so they can spend their £50million budget elsewhere.
So, who are the best bargain goalkeeper in Dream Team? talkSPORT.com have taken a look.
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Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) – £3.5m
If you’re spending bigger bucks on a goalkeeper, the Blues ace is your man.
The only reason £4.0m option Hugo Lloris scored more points than him last year was the Frenchman’s run of penalty saves, meanwhile Frank Lampard’s backline should be stronger with N’Golo Kante likely to play towards his more natural position this term.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – £2.5m
No, we’re not having a moment.
The ex-Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper isn’t a bad player at all and with more work and possible upgrades this summer we should see an improved defensive output from the Gunners.
Leno will certainly get more points than last season.
Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham United) – £2.5m
Only one shot-stopper averaged over 7/10 on WhoScored.com, and that was Polish ace Fabianski.
He might not get heaps of clean sheets, although this could improve with additions to the Hammers, squad but he’s a steady point-scorer.
Ralf Fahrmann (Norwich City) – £1.0m
Landing a goalkeeper on loan with eight Bundesliga seasons under their belt is impressive for a newly-promoted side.
Sure, he was displaced at Schalke last season by talented youngster Alexander Nübel but he should be a fine performer at a cheap price.
Speaking to reporters at his unveiling as Juventus manager, Sarri said: “Chelsea is a team made up of players, probably who have a higher technical level but with individual characteristics.
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“They have players who play on the flank, want to play one v ones so from that point of view, the football they play is less fluid, less smooth.
“Compared to Napoli where they could all play well [together], at Chelsea there were seven or eight players playing individualistically.
“They were effective, solid and that was not so easy to defeat.”
Juve’s sporting director, Fabio Paratici explained Sarri was the club’s first choice to replace Massimiliano Allegri.
“We tried from the very beginning to make him understand that we truly wanted him,” he explained.
“Allegri leaves a heavy legacy,” Sarri added. “Winning what he won is very difficult, he achieved extraordinary results and I would like to see in the team the same ability to get past the difficulties that he was able to help them do so.”
The boss also explained managing Juventus is the crowning achievement in a career that has taken in a host of Italian sides, including Empoli and Napoli, and is already looking ahead to a season coaching some of the best players in the world.
“At Chelsea I trained many strong players, but to coach Cristiano Ronaldo is emotional, because it a step forward. I would like to help him to break even more records. When a player has the quality like Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, they can play in any role. The only thing that can change is the interpretation of the role.”
The two both have differing transfer market circumstances too with the Norwegian able to splash the cash at Old Trafford, while at Stamford Bridge their legendary midfield must rely on youth as the club’s two-window transfer ban is currently ongoing.
Here, talkSPORT.com look at how both clubs could line up at Old Trafford on August 11 as they begin their campaigns.
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With Romelu Lukaku heavily linked with a move to Inter Milan, if he departs, it will be a big season for Rashford.
With Chelsea’s transfer ban, their defence could look very similar to last season. Kepa is certain to keep his place in goal after an encouraging debut season in England.
Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso could make up the back four. Right-back Reece James, who is set to get a run in the first-team next season, is sidelined with ligament damage in his ankle.
Fikayo Tomori, who played almost every minute of Derby’s Championship campaign last term, could rival Luiz and Rudiger for a regular starting spot.
Rudiger missed the last month of the 2018/19 season with a knee injury, but is expected to be fit for the United clash.
With Mateo Kovacic’s loan deal from Real Madrid becoming permanent, it’s likely they will line-up with a similar midfield, with N’Golo Kante and the Croatian flanking Jorginho.
We could, though, potenitally see Blues academy graduate Mason Mount and Ross Barkley play slightly further ahead if Lampard decides to move Kante back to his former position.
The Europa League hasn’t failed to excite this season.
For the first time since the UEFA Cup became the Europa League in the 2009/10 season, the final will be contested by two clubs from England, with Arsenal and Chelsea set to battle it out in Baku to earn some silverware after a gruelling season – live on talkSPORT.
There is a lot more at stake for the Gunners, however, as a win would ensure they play in next season’s Champions League.
Chelsea have already secured their destiny following their third place finish in the Premier League.
Chelsea defender ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN has had a very solid campaign in the Europa League.
The Dane has played nearly every minute of the Blues’ run to the final and has helped Chelsea keep seven clean sheets, the most in the competition.
Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back MARTIN HINTEREGGER has been mightily impressive for the German side this campaign, particularly against Chelsea in the semi.
He put in a series of good blocks and last ditch challenges to keep the Blues at bay and he has been doing this all campaign for his side.
Valencia defender EZEQUIEL GARAY has been imperious in defence for his side this tournament.
Although his club began the season in the Champions League he has been crucial for them on their run to the semi-finals, although he was ultimately unable to prevent Arsenal’s lethal strike force in the last round.
Frankfurt’s SEBASTIAN RODE worked tirelessly to keep Chelsea at bay in the last four and he was desperately unlucky his efforts were not rewarded.
He has been solid as rock throughout the campaign for his club in both attack and defence and looks a real dime in the midfield.
Chelsea playmaker RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK will be heartbroken he is not playing in the final following the Achilles tendon injury he picked up in a post-season friendly in Boston.
The Englishman has arguably been the Blues’ best performer in the Europa League this term, chipping in with four crucial goals to send his side to the final.
Valencia midfielder DANIEL PAREJO has also been the main orchestrator in the Valencia line-up, puling the strings at the heart of the midfield to keep play ticking over for his side.
There has been so many outstanding forwards in the Europa League that is it is extremely difficult to fit them all in.
Sevilla forward WISSAM BEN YEDDER has been on stellar form in Europe, notching up eight goals throughout the campaign to help his side to the quarter-finals.
Arsenal striker PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG – also on eight goals – has often been played on the left throughout the tournament and he was outstanding in their last match against Valencia, almost single-handedly sending the Gunners to Baku with a hat-trick.
LUKA JOVIC has been incredible for Eintracht Frankfurt this term and he looks to be off to Real Madrid for his stellar displays.
Along with OLIVIER GIROUD, who completes the line-up, they are the top scoring players in the Europa League this season with 10 goals.
The Frenchman has been a handful for opposition defences in Europe throughout the campaign, scoring some stunning goals in the process.
Have a look at the line-up in full below…
The Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal will be live on talkSPORT at 20:00 on 29 May
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