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Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012, and of all the years the Blues could have won the trophy – 2012 just seemed to be the most impossible.
Chelsea had sacked Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the season, and his assistant, Roberto Di Matteo took charge on interim basis for the rest of the season.
Chelsea would eventually climb so many hurdles to win the Champions League, and Chelsea’s hero at the night in Munich, Didier Drogba has revealed just how it panned out, and the role Juan Mata played in helping him to believe.
“Eight years ago, the manager had been sacked by the club and we, the players, had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,” wrote Drogba on Twitter.
“The captain John Terry spoke, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and other leaders in the group too.
“We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our 4-1 defeat against Napoli. We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner-up. Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each other for the same goal.
“After that meeting I asked a young 23-year-old Juan Mata, ‘Please Maestro, help me win the Champions League.’
“He looked at me like, ‘Man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it!’
“I then told him, ‘I’ve been here for eight years and never won it, so I believe you’re the one who is gonna help us win. I’ll even give you a present if we win it.’ That was end of February.
“Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave.
“The hosts took the lead with eight minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last eight minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me, ‘Believe Didi, you have to believe.’
“Almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score, ‘Believe in what? It’s almost over.’ I was gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with the Ivory Coast.
“Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich. Guess who took that corner kick… Juan Mata. And the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!”