Chelsea is absolutely one of the most successful English clubs after millenium. They have been regularly playing in the Champions League and won in two occasions. No wonder that Stamford Bridge in European midweek fixtures have always been looked forward to with more than 40,000 fans in it. Its atmosphere has been incomparable for the big continental games.
The famous international names have always been apart of Chelsea’s history in UEFA Champions League. Frank Lampard, John Terry,Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Juan Mata, Jorginho, NGolo Kante, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner are only a few of them.
The international managers have led the Blues’ expensive squad too for years but the notables ones are only a few, the trailblazer Claudio Ranieri, the Special one Jose Mourinho, the unlucky Roberto di Matteo and the German mind Thomas Tuchel. They have made important progress for the club in the UCL, from their first semifinal to the titles.
Since their first entry in 1999/2000 season, The Blues have made incredible progress with two titles in hand and one final, not to mention reaching semifinals in five seasons.
The first one was always memorable and it was not till 2012 when they could finally claim it. In a dramatic final against the favorite and host, Bayern Munich, they won 4-3 on penalties after holding the German side in a 1-1 draw. The second one came in 2020/21 when Thomas Tuchel reshaped the team at the second half of the season and turned their misery to a glory at the end by thumping Manchester City 1-0 at the summit through a single goal of Kai Havertz.
Their first final in 2008, in fact, was quite a bitter one in the memory as they were beaten by Manchester United 5-6 on penalties after holding Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in a 1-1 draw.
The Blues’ moments of glory in the Champions League took place only four years after their debut. In 2003/04, Chelsea reached their first semi final after thumping Arsenal in their golden days 2-1 in Highbury.
The next ones surely came in 2012 and 2021 finals. Didier Drogba was the star in Munich miracle with his late equaliser after Thomas Muller opened the scoring. Petr Cech’s heroic actions, including denying Arjen Robben’s penalty during the extra time plus blocking Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shootout stay in the fans’ memory. In 2021, Chelsea was more confident with Thomas Tuchel’s impressive form. Their second silverware was quite expected and Kai Havertz was the scorer.
Meanwhile, they had plenty of terrible defeats too. The slipping John Terry at the shootout in 2008 final led to their failure eventually to clinch their first title. Edwin Van Der Sar managed to deny Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to bury their dream in Luzhniki Stadium. Some other ones happened at the semifinals. The 2005 edition with the ‘ghost goal’ of Liverpool’s Luis Garcia in Anfield sent them to the exit on 0-1 aggregate. Then in 2009, at their home turf, Andres Iniesta’s late equaliser prevented The Blues from advancing to the final. They were eliminated by Barcelona on the away goal rule after only 1-1 draw.