Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo hailed his team’s “amazing achievement” in beating the odds to win the Champions League final, edging out Bayern Munich on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
The Blues had come into the game depleted, missing key players like John Terry through suspension, and the Italian paid tribute to his side for overcoming their obstacles.
“It was very stressful. It was an amazing achievement by the players,” he enthused to Sky Sports after the match. “The game wasn't ideal with suspensions, the injuries and we went for 120 minutes with players who haven't played for three weeks, four weeks, and it's just been incredible, the passion and the pride that the players have to bring the trophy home.”
Didier Drogba’s equalizer on 88 minutes provided a last-gasp revival for the Blues before the Ivorian buried the decisive penalty, but Di Matteo was loath to single out individuals.
“He scored the goal but I think it's a team effort, the defense that kept the ball out of the net and the midfield, they've been immense tonight,” he insisted.
Chelsea was on the back foot for much of the match, ceding most of the possession and taking their chances on the counter, and the boss said of his tactics: “Bayern is a very good team and they played a very good game tonight.
“We have to play the way that suits us and with the players that we have and the right way to do and win the game. I think you deserve your luck as well.”
The Italian noted his side’s preparation for a shootout, revealing: “We practice [penalties] all the time during the season and we did again this week.”
With victory in Europe’s premier club competition, questions were asked over Di Matteo’s chances of securing the managerial role at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis, but the 41-year-old was paying his future no attention.
“We're going to have a big party tonight with the big trophy with the big ears, that's what I'm going to do,” he declared.
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