Roberto Di Matteo: Chelsea must seize chance to be kings of Europe

Roberto Di Matteo urges his Chelsea squad to seize their chance to win the Champions League after the disappointment of Moscow

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles at Cobham
roberto di matteo
Roberto Di Matteo's side take on Bayern Munich on Saturday Photo: The Sport Review

roberto di matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has urged his Chelsea squad to seize their chance to finally win the Champions League ahead of their showdown with Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Chelsea lost to Manchester United on penalties in 2008, with John Terry squandering the opportunity to claim Europe’s top prize for the Blues before Nicolas Anelka missed his spot-kick in sudden death.

Di Matteo acknowledges that opportunities to win the European Cup are rare but believes that some senior squad members may not have expected a four-year wait before reaching another Champions League showpiece.

“To reach the Champions League final is very, very difficult,” said Di Matteo. “Even for younger players, they don’t know when they will have the chance again.

“Certainly, for our older players, it might be more difficult to be in a final or win it again.

“The last final happened four years ago – some of our players thought they would reach a final again but it didn’t prove that easy.”

Chelsea have a poor recent penalty shoot-out record in the Champions League. They were been beaten at the semi-final stage by Rafael Benítez’s Liverpool side in 2007 – and lost to United in a dramatic finale in Moscow the following year.

Di Matteo, who revealed his side have been practising spot-kicks all season, insists the Blues have banished memories of Moscow and is confident the Londoners can emerge victorious should a shoot-out be required to settle Saturday’s showdown.

“That was four years ago [the Moscow shoot-out] and people move on,” added the Chelsea interim boss.

“I think it’s a different game and a different team and as much as you want to talk about the past we are looking to the present and the future – and we’re going to prepare ourselves for every eventuality in the game.

“We’ve been practising all the way [through the competition] – not just this week.

“[We’ve been practising] a little more this week but all season we’ve been doing that. It is difficult to reproduce the same pressure of a penalty shoot-out but practice helps.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin to win his biggest title, ‘But I still have a lot to give’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Wenger told Arsenal should sign top 28-year-old star to replace Sanchez
The Sport Review
Man United the only option for Cristiano Ronaldo, claims ex-defender
The Sport Review
Thierry Henry rates Alexandre Lacazette’s display for Arsenal v Tottenham