There has been one phrase that it is safe to say I have uttered more than perhaps any other in my life – well except ‘I want’ as I’m sure my parents will try to tell you – and that is ‘we’re going to Munich.’
A phrase that means more to Chelsea fans than most; with the exception of Spurs and therefore Arsenal who clearly have a vested interest in the outcome of the final, but for Blues fans the fact that they have managed to reach a Champions League final this season has been nothing short of a miracle, especially for a club who seemed in such disarray under Mr Clueless or AVB as he is more commonly known, yet interim manager RDM along with the senior players who have suddenly found their drive again after the departure of AVB – funny that- and managed to turn in some of their best performances which have somehow got Chelsea to the final this Saturday.
Now I am not going to sit here and pretend Chelsea were the best team in the competition this season, far from it, but how often is it the team that are best on paper who actually win the biggest club competition of all? Very rarely – in knockout competitions, as Chelsea know only too well, gifts from the footballing Gods can occur and a team can find themselves in the final to the shock of even themselves.
Chelsea fans will look back to years gone by and each will be able to tell you of their own personal heartbreak in the competition – it might be Terry’s missed penalty in Moscow, or the penalty shootout in the semis to Liverpool, it could even be the heart wrenching 89th minute goal of a certain Andres Iniesta or my personal favourite the ‘ghost goal’ from Garcia which denied Mourinho’s team a place they so desperately deserved and craved in the 2005 final. Whatever the case, it is certainly arguable that of all the clubs, Chelsea have been harder done by than most in the competition down the years, although anyone who has played Barcelona when they have been shall we say ‘given a helping hand by the officials’ Arsenal I am looking at you here – may disagree.
Whatever the case, it seems that the footballing Gods this season are smiling on the team from West London, and their comeback against Napoli was nothing compared to the downright heroic performances over two legs to knock out the defending Champions when even I will confess the crossbar and fate played a huge part in the result – you know when Torres scores the big man in the sky is on your side, and how Chelsea fans must be praying that stays the case on the 19th.
It is the biggest ask of all to go and play what is effectively an away game for the final – thanks for that UEFA – with the amount of suspensions and injuries currently facing the squad, yet it was not individuals that got Chelsea to the game at the Allianz; it was team performances with more heart and passion than I have ever seen from the club or their fans who at times can give the Prawn Sandwich brigade at Old Trafford a run for their money, yet for those who did not stick their shirts in the washing machine on the highest heat in order to turn them City blue during the earlier parts of the season, the final on the Sky Sports dubbed ‘Day of Destiny’ is something that is nothing short of a dream come true – well if the club manage to lift the trophy that is.
To win the Champions League is the icing on the cake for any club, and let’s not forget the only way Chelsea can re-enter the competition next season, something that has surely seen the Bayern Munich shirt sales in the white half of North London go through the roof, and victory for Chelsea and their owner for the trophy that has caused so much hurt in the past is something most would agree would feel better than winning the euro millions – after all as they know better than anyone, there are some things money cant buy…