Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has spoken at length for the first time about his refusal to leave the pitch in the Carabao Cup final.
The Spaniard defied Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, who was trying to replace his keeper with just a few minutes remaining on the clock before a penalty shoot-out.
He was fined and dropped for one game after his one-man mutiny, which was made worse by Chelsea’s defeat on spot-kicks.
“It was news around the world. People were talking about it and talking badly. It is normal for people to talk. My father spoke to me after when we were at home but he didn’t need to say a lot to me. By then I realised what I had done and there was not a lot left to say,” Kepa told the Daily Mail.
“It was a difficult week. It happened on Sunday, on Wednesday I didn’t play against Tottenham and then I was back to play against Fulham.
“I accepted what the manager said and the club fine and I realised I wouldn’t play the next game. I was right behind Willy and supported him and the team as much as I could.
“Of course, that was the only thing I could do. It was something I did in the heat of the moment. It’s something I am not very proud of.
“It was a difficult moment which I’ve learned from and I’m still learning from. Now it’s time for me to look forward.
“I said I was sorry. Football goes on. We all make mistakes.
“The only thing I wanted to say was that I was not injured and I was OK to carry on. I was not thinking about the penalties.
“I wasn’t totally aware of everything that had happened.
“It wasn’t until I looked back for the first time at the images that I realised. I saw it from a different perspective. Until that point, it was like I was in a bubble and wasn’t conscious of what was going on.
“I started to see it all when I arrived home for the first time and saw the video.
“That was the first time I realised what happened. I’ve learned a lesson and the next time it will be different. When I am asked to change, I will change.”