Chelsea captain Azpilicueta surprises young fan, 11, with Abu Dhabi hospital visit

Spanish defender spoke about importance of patience when recovering from injuries

Chelsea FC club captain Cesar Azpilicueta made a surprise visit to Khalifa Al Mansoori. Burjeel Medical City
Powered by automated translation

Chelsea FC club captain Cesar Azpilicueta surprised a young Abu Dhabi fan with a hospital visit.

Khalifa Al Mansoori, a patient who is receiving treatment at Burjeel Medical City who is also a Chelsea fan, was shocked his week to see Azpilicueta enter his hospital room.

It made up for Khalifa missing out on Azpilicueta lifting the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in February 2022, which he was unable to attend due to his health issues.

Khalifa sustained serious injuries at the age of four when he was hit by a car. His spine and pelvis were fractured and his hip joint was damaged in the accident.

He recently underwent surgery at the Paley Middle East Clinic in Burjeel Medical City to change the shape of his damaged hip joint and lengthen the femur.

The Emirati boy is currently undergoing intensive physical therapy at the hospital to regain movement of his hip and knee.

Having heard about Khalifa’s story through the hospital, Azpilicueta — who is in the UAE with his family — wanted to surprise him with a visit.

“Meeting Azpilicueta is a dream come true for me," Khalifa said.

"As a football fan, I never imagined I would get to meet him in person, especially during my stay at the hospital.

"His kind words have given me a morale boost in my recovery journey.”

Azpilicueta, who has won the Champions League, Europa League, Premier League and FA Cup titles during his 11 years at the club, spoke to Khalifa about his own injuries and how he recovered through patience and rehabilitation.

“I am here after one year in the UAE and happy to meet you, Khalifa," Azpilicueta said.

"Stay brave and follow the instructions of your doctors. I want to watch you play football in the future.”

Updated: June 18, 2023, 9:29 AM