The Chelsea goalkeeper was seen winking at the camera moments after he refused to come off before the penalty shootout in the final.
The Carabao Cup final saw a dramatic finish as Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off the pitch. The rebellious behaviour drew criticism for the Spaniard from fans and pundits alike.
Arrizabalaga made a save in the penalty shootout but failed to prevent a defeat in the final, as Manchester City retained the cup.
The goalkeeper made a detailed statement on the incident in the following hours, stating that there was a misunderstanding.
“First of all, I regret how the end of the match has been portrayed,” the goalkeeper wrote.
“At no time has it been my intention to disobey the coach or any of his decisions. I think everything has been misunderstood in the heat of the final part of a match for a title.
Why the fuck didn’t Azpilicueta order Kepa to get the fuck off. This is why he shouldn’t be captain. Terry would have had the prepubescent cunt doing laps after the game just for even thinking of it coming off.
— John (@semiretired17) February 24, 2019
Wow. This is bonkers. Not sure I’ve ever seen a player refuse to be subbed. Extraordinary.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 24, 2019
“The coach thought I was not in a position to play on and my intention was to express that I was in good condition to continue helping the team, while the docs that had treated me arrived at the bench to give the message.
“I feel the image that has been portrayed was not my intention. I have full respect for the coach and his authority.”
However, new video footage shows that Arrizabalaga winked at the camera at the full-time whistle. Here’s the video:
— Dave McKay (@diggyuk) February 24, 2019
Maurizio Sarri wanted to bring Willy Caballero as the final substitute, keeping in mind the penalty shootout. Arrizabalaga faced cramps during the closing stages of the game, which could’ve led to Sarri taking the decision.
However, the goalkeeper insisted on gesturing to the touchline that he was fit and refused to come off.
Former Chelsea star and celebrated club captain John Terry has also criticised the goalkeeper’s behaviour in those moments.
Kepa Arrizabalaga Revuelta, also known as Kepa, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Dutch club Vitesse on loan from Chelsea.
— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) February 24, 2019
Maurizio Sarri says the Kepa substitution confusion was ‘a big misunderstanding’ because he thought the player had cramp. However he says Kepa was right that he could continue although the way he went about it was wrong. Sarri says he needs to talk to Kepa now. #CHEMCI
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 24, 2019
Sarri: Kepa come off
Sarri: I signed you, I’m your manager
— Efiefuor 🇬🇭 (@bishopspikles) February 25, 2019
“Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect. Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want,” Terry said.