Delighted Roman Abramovich joins players on the pitch to celebrate Chelsea’s Champions League triumph and manager Thomas Tuchel admits it’s the first time he’d met Russian owner!
- Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 to win the Champions League in Porto
- Club owner Roman Abramovich joined the players on the pitch to celebrate
- Russian posed for a photograph with the trophy and embraced delighted players
- Manager Thomas Tuchel said it was his first meeting with Abramovich
- German coach will now try and rubberstamp a new long-term Chelsea contract
Thomas Tuchel completed a memorable night in Porto by meeting his boss Roman Abramovich for the first time just minutes after Chelsea’s Champions League win against Manchester City.
The billionaire owner hasn’t been to Stamford Bridge since 2018 following political tensions between the UK and Russia but he was in Portugal to see his latest managerial appointment mastermind a famous 1-0 victory against Pep Guardiola’s favourites.
It was the second time Chelsea have won the Champions League under Abramovich and, just like 2012, it followed a change in the hot seat with Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard in January.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich talks to manager Thomas Tuchel after their Champions League victory over Manchester City on Saturday night
Abramovich appointed Tuchel in January but the pair hadn’t met in person until now
Chelsea’s billionaire Russian owner was thrilled as he saluted the club’s fans in the stadium
He posed for a picture with the trophy and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta after the win
‘I spoke to the owner right now on the pitch,’ said Tuchel as he celebrated his triumph.
‘It was the best moment for our first meeting, or the worst because from now on things can only get worse!
‘We will speak tomorrow and I am looking forward to it. I can assure him I will stay hungry. I want the next title and I feel absolutely happy. I feel part of a really ambitious club and strong group that suits my belief and passion about football.
‘We have work to do to close the gap (on Manchester City in the Premier League) and this is what I am all about. It will be nice to meet him (Abramovich) a bit closer.
‘We are in constant contact but not personal. He knows what is going on from me but not directly, now it is nice to meet him.’
A beaming Abramovich hugs N’Golo Kante amid the Champions League victory celebrations
Defender Thiago Silva, who was forced off injured in the first-half, embraces Abramovich
Part of the discussions will be for Abramovich to rubberstamp a new long-term contract for the 47-year-old German who was initially offered only 18 months when he joined.
Indeed, Tuchel seemed to think it was a formality with his agent in negotiations while he prepared for the final.
‘Maybe I already have a new contract, my manager said something about it. Let’s check this first,’ he said.
Tuchel got the better of Pep Guardiola who sprung a surprise by leaving his captain on the bench.
Chelsea’s owner doesn’t get too many opportunities to watch them live but relished this one
It is the second time Chelsea have won the Champions League during the Abramovich era
‘I expected Fernandinho in the line up to start,’ admitted the Chelsea boss. He (Guardiola) chose a very offensive line up. A very technical line up. It was hard to steal the balls and recover the balls. Everything else we expected.’
Having finished fourth in the Premier League and lost to Leicester City in the FA Cup Final, Tuchel promises Champions League glory should be a springboard to domestic success.
‘Of course this is the time for one or two weeks to reflect and talk about winning the final but after that it does surprisingly little to you. Nobody wants to rest, I don’t want to rest.
The Russian owner enjoys a quiet chat with Cesar Azpilicueta amid the celebrations
Marcos Alonso greets Abramovich following the trophy presentation at the Estadio Dragao
‘I want the next title and the process of quality and consistency. I demand to be a part of it. That is what comes next.’
England’s Mason Mount, who set up the winning goal for Kai Havertz, admitted bursting into tears on seeing his dad after the final whistle.
‘I can’t put the feelings into words, it’s impossible,’ he said. ‘I played in two FA Cup finals for Chelsea and lost, the way that hurt. All I have dreamed about is winning a trophy with Chelsea.
‘To go all the way in the Champions League, played some tough teams and win it. It’s such a special occasion. At this moment in time, we’re the best team in the world. You can’t take that away from us!’