Christian Pulisic and Chelsea completed a reversal of fortunes after Frank Lampard’s reign at Stamford Bridge came to an end after boxing day, with the club winning its second Champions League trophy since Roman Abramovich became club owner.
The Blues did well to scupper the plans of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, with the Etihad outfit looking to lift their first piece of European silverware after the club confirmed their status as top dog in the Premier League once more. But it was not to be for Pep once again, and an American played a key role in Chelsea’s run to the final this season.
Netting a goal during their semi-final two-legged clash with Real Madrid, Pulisic confirmed his status as the first United States men’s international to win the highest club honor in Europe.
Christian Pulisic is celebrating in the USMNT gear ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ki6bRJAsEK
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
The Hershey, Pennsylvania-native has already etched his name in United States lore earlier against Real Madrid, when his goal in the first-leg 1-1 draw not only made Pulisic the highest-scoring American in the competition’s history, but the only American to ever score a goal in the semi-final of the Champions League while also being the first from the States to ever score against Real.
Ever since his breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund under Thomas Tuchel, Pulisic has been a star in the making at both club level as well as back home in the US. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, Pulisic has impressed at every turn. The versatile and gifted forward has firmly planted the US flag on European grounds as the headline name – and face – of a generation of players representing the stars and stripes that are young, hungry, and good enough to make a considerable impact on the European game.
There have been questions around his future at Chelsea, however, with Pulisic only being a bit-part starter for Tuchel’s Blues despite his performances improving under the German tactician since his appointment. No longer viewed as first-choice, and with Chelsea’s spending habits this season mirroring their trend of continuously looking to improve the team, some have speculated that he was unhappy with his rule and could look for a move away if the situation did not improve. But those rumors were put to bed by Pulisic himself, claiming he was perfectly happy at the club despite the apparent change in importance.
Regardless of what lies ahead for the American prodigy, his story continues to inspire as he blazes a trail for many others like him that are currently in his wake.