With the achievement of the Club World Cup, Chelsea culminates its magical year, the best that he is remembered in his 116 years. A story thator it could be understood without the arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003, when, at just 36 years old, he bought the London club for 85 million euros and assumed his debt, valued at 114.7 million. A very profitable investment if you take into account that, as reported by Bloomberg in 2018, the Russian tycoon received an offer of 2,500 million euros to sell the Stamford Bridge team.
But Abramovich turned it down, and after a FIFA ban that left him unable to sign for two transfer windows, the owner of Chelsea returned to the charge in the summer of 2020. In the midst of a pandemic, the club that claims to be “The pride of London” he disbursed 247 million euros and suddenly took over Havertz, Werner, Chilwell, Ziyech and Mendy. A whole declaration of intent for the rest of the European clubs, immersed in budget cuts.
However, the “blue lions” were slow to come together. Full of new faces expectations were so high since the beginning of the 2020-21 season that Frank Lampard succumbed. The former player, legend of the Blues, was not able to put together a competitive team in the first half of the course and had to make way for Thomas Tuchel just before the Champions League round of 16 match against Atlético de Madrid.
Tuchel, the engineer
The German coach had gained great prestige after his time at Borussia Dortmund, but He had no luck at Paris Saint-Germain and was fired just weeks before Abramovich’s call. Tuchel wanted to claim yen record time he prepared his men for the feat. On the horizon was Atlético, the best Spanish team last year. A tall challenge for a team to do.
Despite initial misgivings, Chelsea won the first leg and second leg. It was clearly imposed, demonstrating the category of the team, which he began to believe in himself. Tuchel began to win over the locker room and in the quarterfinals, against Porto, Londoners were also a roller. That’s why when they faced Real Madrid in the semi-finals, Chelsea were in the best possible form.
The German coach had found the solution: a safety net composed of three very reliable central defensesas they proved to be Rüdiger, Thiago Silva, and Christensen; two indefatigable lanes like Azpilicueta and Chilwell; two vigilant midfielders, who were indisputably Jorginho and Kanté -they would finish third and fifth in the Ballon d’Or, respectively-; Y to connect attacks, Werner’s hitch Mason Mount, who played spearhead, with Havertz as squire.
One final and two men
The mix of youth and veteran paid off. Madrid was not able to pass the draw at the Bernabéu and in the second leg was beaten by Tuchel’s block. Chelsea’s display against Zidane’s men, with goals from Mount and Werner, not only showed the Blues’ excellent physical condition, but also their tremendous confidence. So much so that despite being far from the top spot in the Premier League and being defeated by Leicester in the FA Cup final, the “blue lions” were not intimidated by Pep Guardiola.
In Porto, the London team he deservedly took the Champions League final against an impotent Manchester City. Guardiola tried to surprise with his approach, knowing the potential of Chelsea and the genius of Tuchel, who was previously his pupil. But risked too much with Gündogan as the only support of the citizen team and, to make matters worse, his best man, De Bruyne, could not finish the final. Too many setbacks for Citywhich ended up collapsing with Havertz’s goal.
After much suffering, the “man who cost 80 million” became the “man of the final” and his goal crowned Chelsea as the best team in Europe. It was the second Champions League in its history, and the second also for its captain, Cesar Apilicuetathe only player from the club to have achieved it so far, which made him the star of the final along with Havertz. The Spanish defender was already a legendbut he still had two accounts pending, and so did his team.
the golden icing
It was not the first time that Azpilicueta and “his” Chelsea had reached the European Super Cup and to the Club World Cup, but they had never won these competitions before. Hence the desire for revenge. But the road was not easy at all, and in the Super Cup against Villarreal, Europa League champion, the “blue lions” had to wait until penalties to take the victory.
By then, the Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was the owner on his own merits, but was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga before the shootout. The Spaniard is a true specialist when it comes to maximum penalties and his stop brought the first European Super Cup to the showcases of Stamford Bridgewhich would still have to make room for a new trophy.
Haunted by successes, Chelsea lost the order of their game with the arrival of winter, and his recent poor run in the Premier League gave rise to many doubts. The end of 2021 has been Tuchel’s worst moment at the helm of the Blues. On top of that, the coach tested positive for COVID on the eve of his trip to the United Arab Emirates to play the Mundialito. But if the German was sure of one thing, it was that this was not going to be easy at all, and that it would be necessary to suffer -again- to achieve it.
In semifinals, Lukaku’s goal was enough to see past Al Hilal by the leastto, to the delight of Tuchel, that se recovered in time to be present in the final. Another challenge in which they would win again with great agony after an eternal extension, thanks to a goal from Havertz. The man from the end, again; then, Azpilicueta raised the glass, again; Tuchel claimed, again; And Abramovich’s investment appreciated, again… Many times. Many men. One team. The pride of London.
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