Home » Uncategorized » Chelsea’s Cucurella Shows His Class Once More at EURO 2024

Chelsea’s Cucurella Shows His Class Once More at EURO 2024

published :

If Ben Chilwell had remained fit during the 2023/24 season, there’s a chance that he would have remained Chelsea’s first-choice left-back..

If he had, Marc Cucurella wouldn’t have been able to establish himself as a more-than-capable deputy.

Football has plenty of these ‘butterfly effect’ moments, but without Chilwell’s injury-hit campaign, Cucurella – in all probability – would not have starred for Spain at EURO 2024 to enhance his pedigree.

Catching the Eye

The movement of the online betting odds at EURO 2024 was a testament to how well Spain played.

Although well respected by Paddy Power News and other football tipping columns, the Spaniards were considered outsiders to win the tournament before the off. However, after just rounds of group games, they were cut to 5/1 – a shade behind England, France and Germany.

La Roja beat two high-quality opponents in their opening two games of Group B. As you may recall, Croatia reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2022 in Qatar – this is a team that knows what it takes to be successful in tournament football.

However, they were brushed aside with consummate ease by Spain at the EUROs, with Álvaro Morata and Dani Carvajal on the scoresheet in a 3-0 victory.

As if to prove that was no fluke, La Roja then went out and defeated the reigning European champions, Italy. An own goal would ultimately separate the two teams, but this was a game that Spain dominated with 57% possession, 20 shots on goal and an Expected Goals count of 2.05.

A fixture of both of these victories has been Cucurella, whose performance was so good in the Italy game that he was named Player of the Match – not bad for a left back, which is not a position that often lends itself to star man moments.

On the Outside

At Chelsea, the 25-year-old was vaunted for his performances as an inverted full-back in the latter stages of the Premier League season. Former Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino seemingly got the best out of the Spaniard in this unique role, in which he would be tasked with helping to build up play from central areas.

Cucurella was vital to a Chelsea side that closed out the campaign with five straight victories, scoring 14 goals, and while it wasn’t enough to save Pochettino’s job, his replacement – Enzo Maresca – plays with a very similar system of inverted full-backs anyway.

But for Spain, Cucurella has been asked to fulfil a much more traditional full-back role by Luis de la Fuente, holding his width and bombing up and down the left flank.

It’s the kind of versatility that reveals why Cucurella is such a vital cog for both club and country, while also confirming that he has very much stepped up his game since completing his £60 million move to the Blues in the summer of 2022.

If he can maintain his exceptional standards, Cucurella will be the first choice left back for Chelsea during the 2024/25 campaign – a season that he, and they, will be hoping sees an end to the club’s wait for a major trophy.