Chelsea fans took a trip down memory lane yesterday, as ex-Blues player Michael Ballack announced on social media that he will be returning to Stamford Bridge for tonight’s first-leg last 16 clash against Barcelona.
The ethereal ex-German international is well remembered in west London, particularly for his performances for the club in the Champions League.
A commanding midfield presence, Ballack scored 16 goals for Chelsea in the Champions League between 2006 and 2010 and tonight’s fixture will give him particularly strong memories of the competition.
Ballack played all 90 minutes in that infamous 1-1 draw in 2009 between the two sides in the semi-final, in which four penalty appeals were denied and the German himself screamed in the face of referee Tom Henning Ovrebo when his volley straight into Samuel Eto’o’s arm wasn’t rewarded with a spot kick.
Coincidentally, Ovrebo admitted just a few days ago that he made a series of mistakes in that game and ‘cannot be proud’ of his performance.
The ex-Chelsea man will be hoping that the Blues manage to avenge that night of injustice with a solid showing tonight, and Blues fans’ reaction on social media to his announcement goes to show the regard with which he is still held at Stamford Bridge…
Spot on!… the lad played at Bayern for as long as he did us, but he fell in love with our club and still is to this day. 👏🏻👏🏻 and as chelsea fans we love him for it #blue
— ®ee©e Moon (@Mooney199) February 19, 2018
We could so do with you right now #Legend..
— John (CFC) (@JohnDornan1) February 20, 2018
— Max Franky (@MaxFranky09) February 20, 2018
we Chelsea fans all around the world proud of u @Ballack
— Daramola Mike F. (@daramolamic) February 20, 2018