Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has now opened up on his public bust-up with former manager Maurizio Sarri during the 2019 Carabao Cup final.
The Italian manager wanted the goalkeeper substituted during extra time of the Carabao cup final against Manchester City, but the Spaniard ignored the manager’s decision and remained on the field.
Chelsea eventually lost the game in the penalty shootout, and Kepa failed to save four of the five penalties he faced.
The goalkeeper has now explained that he did not mean to disrespect the Chelsea manager, and it was just a misunderstanding between the two.
The Spaniard was trying to signal to the manager that he was not injured, and Sarri could not understand him because of the noisy Wembley crowd.
However, he has admitted that he should have come off when the fourth official raised the board. He apologised to the Chelsea manager after undermining his authority in public.
He said: “I tried to signal that I was OK, that I wasn’t injured. But we were at Wembley in front of more than 80,000 people, so of course, Sarri didn’t understand me.
“When the fourth official raised the board, clearly I should have come off, and I’m sorry I didn’t.
“I was wrong, and I am sorry for everyone who was involved: for Maurizio Sarri, who it seemed like I had undermined in public; for Willy (Caballero), a teammate and a great professional; and for all my teammates and Chelsea fans who had to put up with everything – all the noise that was generated during the game and then in the days after.”
“For the next three or four days, it didn’t stop,” Kepa added. “It was overwhelming. And clearly, most people who saw the pictures thought that I had disrespected Maurizio (Sarri).
“I felt misunderstood because it had never been my intention to snub the coach. I had only tried to tell him I was. I tried to explain this to the press, but I couldn’t.”
The 26-year-old has had a torrid time at Stamford Bridge since his £71 million move from Athletic Bilbao.
The goalkeeper has lost his starting berth to Edouard Mendy as well, and it will be interesting to see if he can play more regularly this upcoming season.