It was never my intention to leave – Marcos Alonso out to repay Chelsea ‘trust’
Alonso’s resurgence under current boss Thomas Tuchel has been strong enough for the 31-year-old to admit he could see himself staying at Chelsea beyond his current contract that expires in summer 2023.
The Real Madrid youth star has now set the record straight on the bust-up with Lampard that threatened his Chelsea career, speaking for the first time about the Blues’ 3-3 draw at West Brom in September 2020.
The Spain wing-back has rejected suggestions he stormed out of The Hawthorns to watch the second half of that Premier League clash on the Blues’ team bus.
Alonso had been replaced at half-time with Chelsea trailing 3-0 but has now explained he was moved on from his vantage point inside the ground by stadium staff.
The resulting mix-up infuriated Lampard, who refused to explain the situation publicly but did sideline Alonso, who did not play again for the Blues for four months.
Now, though, Alonso finds himself a central character in Saturday’s Club World Cup final against Palmeiras.
While all focus hones in on the battle at Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Alonso took the time to deliver his version of those West Brom events.
“I watched the game upstairs and with five minutes to go they (West Brom security) told me I cannot be there, so I went downstairs to the changing room,” said Alonso.
“Then when the referee blew the whistle I went to the coach before the team got back.
“It was not with any bad intention that I wanted to leave but I’d had a shower at half-time already.
“I was not happy, of course, with how the game went and everything, but it was not any intention to do that (storm out).
“I spoke to my team-mates straight afterwards, if someone felt offended or something. But everyone was okay.
Chelsea is the most important club in my career and I want to give back all the trust they put in me
“The manager didn’t take it well but I explained everything that happened.
“He thought I left before the end of the game but I told him no.
“There were some medical staff in the changing room that can provide the right information. It’s gone now, of course.
“I was out of the team for a while but then I came back and I scored (against Burnley) and we won the derby (against Tottenham).
“It’s not over. I signed a long contract here to stay for a long time. Chelsea is the most important club in my career and I want to give back all the trust they put in me.
“And that’s my only target. There will be good moments, there will be bad moments, there will be managers coming in and out. But my contract is with Chelsea and I serve the club.
“I have always had interest from other clubs, but to be honest it was never my intention to leave. I wanted to fight back for a position.
“I know what I can give to the team and until the club tells me something else that will always be my target.”
Asked whether he could stay at Chelsea beyond next summer, Alonso added: “Why not? For me I still have another year-and-a-half on my contract, so I’m not really thinking further than Saturday at the moment.
“It’s a question where maybe I don’t know the answer and it doesn’t just depend on what I want. But I will always try to give 100 per cent and focus on the next game. I am very happy here though, so why not stay.”
While Alonso downplayed his West Brom flashpoint with Lampard, the defender did admit he had to draw on all his resilience to fight his way back into Chelsea’s plans.
Alonso worked back into Lampard’s favour but has also featured regularly under new boss Tuchel, whose most frequent 3-4-3 formation suits the Spaniard’s best qualities.
“You always need to prove yourself, this is football – one week you are top of the world, the next day you cannot play football any more,” said Alonso.
“So you always have to prove yourself if you want to play for a club like Chelsea. If you relax even a little bit, then things are not going to be good.
“For now that’s what I want, what I know I can do and what I will keep doing until my body says otherwise.
“Strength of character is so important. You see a lot of players with great quality who play well for a couple of years and then they don’t have the career to match the quality of the level that they have.
“I can be proud of my mentality for turning the situation around and it’s important to enjoy moments like this now, where there is the chance to achieve great things.
“This is the trophy that Chelsea has never won. It would mean a great deal to the club to win, and to be the first would be great as well. But it will be a tough game for sure.
“We must focus 100 per cent but I am sure we are capable of making it happen.”
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