Ben Chilwell has recalled watching Chelsea’s previous Champions League final outings ahead of the club’s latest meeting with Manchester City this weekend.
Chelsea face Manchester City in the Champions League final on Saturday as both clubs look to be crowned champions of Europe, the west Londoners seeking a second success in the competition against a City side chasing a unique treble.
The Blues will contest club football’s biggest prize for the third time in their history and Chilwell has recalled watching Chelsea’s agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in the first-ever all-Premier League showpiece as an 11-year-old in 2008.
“That’s the one that stands out,” Chilwell told the Mail. “United against Chelsea is probably the one I remember most. My dad made me aware of the fact it was an all-English final and I needed to watch it.
“In all honesty, my dad probably wanted United to win. I wasn’t too bothered. I just enjoyed watching the footie. Extra-time and penalties, and so many good players playing. It was a long night but it was a gripping game and penalties are always fun, aren’t they?”
Chilwell also reflected on watching Chelsea win the Champions League for the first time four years later, Didier Drogba the hero with a late equaliser as Bayern Munich were beaten on penalties at their own Allianz Arena.
The England international admits he signed for Chelsea last summer with the ambition of competing for major honours and is relishing this weekend’s opportunity to win Europe’s most prestigious trophy.
“You come to Chelsea to win trophies, to fight for the title every season and get to cup finals,” he continued. “This season we’ve managed to secure top four, got into an FA Cup final and now the Champions League final.
“I watched in 2012 too. It was a good game in Munich, seeing an English team win it and, again, my dad made sure I knew it was a great thing for English football. And you start to appreciate a club’s history.
“People are talking about it around the training ground. It would be nice if we could replicate that, and go and get that Champions League trophy for the second time for the club.”
Chelsea’s improvement since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel has been remarkable with the German having transformed the club’s fortunes since replacing Frank Lampard in January, leading the Blues to a top-four finish and into the finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League.
Chilwell opened up on working under the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach and says Tuchel’s ‘passionate’ approach has had a positive impact on the dressing room.
“He’s a very passionate manager, very demanding,” Chilwell said. “When he’s animated, it’s his passion coming across and we completely respect it, if anything it helps us.
“It’s a good thing. There’s so many young, talented players in this squad and he’s very excited and eager to help us all.”