Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Chelsea blamed for turning Euro 2024 star into a ‘laughing stock’

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Micah Richards believes Chelsea are to blame (Picture: Getty)

Micah Richards has blamed Chelsea for turning Euro 2024 finalist Marc Cucurella into a ‘laughing stock’.

Cucurella has played a key role in Spain’s impressive run to the Euros final despite flattering to deceive at Stamford Bridge since his £62m move from Brighton in 2022.

The 25-year-old has started five of Spain’s six games at the tournament – he was rested for their final group match against Albania – as Luis de la Fuente’s side stormed into the final with six straight wins.

Cucurella has largely struggled to justify his big-money move to Chelsea and is still trying to cement a place in the first-team after 24 months in west London.

Ex-England defender Richards believes Cucurella became a ‘laughing stock’ at Stamford Bridge but is more than proving his ability at the Euros.

‘Marc Cucurella is a massive talking point,’ he said on The Rest is Football podcast after Spain beat France to reach the Euro 2024 final.

‘At Brighton he was in a system, he could play as one of three centre-backs or at full-back and would always go forward and join in attacks.

Marc Cucurella in action for Spain at Euro 2024
Marc Cucurella in action for Spain at Euro 2024 (Picture: Getty)

‘He looked like a really good player. He went to Chelsea and because it was so disorganised, he became a bit of a laughing stock.

‘But in this tournament he’s been one of the best full-backs.’

Former England striker Gary Lineker added: ‘It just shows you that when a club is in disarray, players suffer and it becomes really hard to perform in those circumstances.

‘He’s had a really good tournament.’

Cucurella has been linked with a move away from Chelsea during Euro 2024 but insists he is not contemplating a summer switch.

Asked about a potential return to La Liga, Cucurella said: ‘When you go abroad it is difficult, people see Spanish football, the club they have supported since they were little, and they lose track of you a little.

‘What we are doing is very nice, there are a lot of people enjoying it and if it goes well we have a couple of games left to finish with a great championship.

‘Playing in La Liga is nice, it’s my home and I would stop speaking English for a while!

‘Seriously, I’m very happy in England. It’s a very good experience for my family. London is a great city to be in for a few years and today I’m not thinking about any change because my family is very happy.’

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