Sure, there have been teams that have gone longer without winning the Champions League, but it would be tough to find a team that has come close on numerous occasions like Chelsea in these nine years. From the ghost goal by Liverpool to the rain drenched memories of the 2008 Champions League final when we lost on penalties to Manchester United, Chelsea have surely been the unluckiest team in the Champions League.
However, it is this bad luck that has turned good for Chelsea this season.
In terms of creating chances, we have been extremely bad in the semifinals against Barcelona and in the final against Bayern Munich as well. However, when your name is on the trophy, no one can stop it and it has proved today.
It feels ironic that we never won the competition when we were clearly the better team, but come back to win it when clearly there are better teams in the competition – or is it? Bayern Munich may have all the striking options and we might have defended for most of the match.
However, apart from a few close chances I can’t remember Cech making a lot of saves from open play. It was all wayward shooting from Bayern Munich. It was remarkable defensive display once again by Chelsea. This season shows that winning the Champions League is one of the toughest aspects of the season. You may be the best team in the world, but you need a slice of luck to be the Champion of Europe. Chelsea have certainly had that this season under Roberto di Matteo and I feel justice is done.
Many would forget the three times we hit the post against Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final – I said we would be back, but here in the 2012 Champions League final, it was our turn. John Terry will be relieved man; Didier Drogba will be relieved man. Once again, the Ivorian has proved that he is the man for the big occasions.
Chelsea celebrations after winning the 2012 Champions League final still seems unbelievable to me when I think back of the 3-1 defeat which suffered against Napoli in the last 16 stage. However, Chelsea fans have to believe and recognise that this is just the start of a new era for Chelsea.
Drogba will be gone and so do a number of other important players, but it is important to remember that Chelsea are the 2012 Champions League winners. Yes, we are the Kings of Europe – at last.