Gary Cahill and David Luiz were part of Roberto Di Matteo’s FA Cup winning team in 2012, but the two centre halves missed the FA Cup final against Liverpool due to injury.
Luiz played in every match of our FA cup run in 2012 until injury forced him off in the semi-final win over Tottenham. And for Cahill, he played from the fifth round onwards having moved to Chelsea from Bolton in the January transfer window of that season, as injury also forced him out of the finals.
They were rushed back from injury to play in the Champions League finals against Bayern Munich a week after the FA Cup final, with John Terry being ineligible to partake in the finals.
The centre-backs who have been key for Chelsea this season told the official Chelsea website about their experiences five years ago.
“For the FA Cup it was impossible,” recalls David Luiz now as he looks back to five years ago.
“I was trying hard to get fit for the Champions League final. In the end, everything was good. I came back to play the most important game of my life with the worst physical condition to play it, but that made it even more magical.”
“I was always going to miss the FA Cup final,” adds Cahill, “so that was disappointing but obviously the bigger picture at that moment was the Champions League.”
“I was watching the FA Cup final with Gary,” continues David Luiz, “and then afterwards we could celebrate on the pitch with our team-mates and the fans.
“You have to go with your heart supporting your friends and giving your energy for them. It’s a team game, a collective sport. When you are not on the pitch for some reason – the option of the coach, or injury or suspension – you have to have a collective mentality and that means you enjoy every single situation.
“It feels the same even if you don’t play, of course. To win a title is not just about winning one game. It’s all the season. You prepare yourself, you train hard every day, you are together every day, and then sometimes it’s possible to play and sometimes it’s not. If you want to play for a big club you need to understand one thing – you need to have a collective mentality.”