Michael Ballack believes Chelsea should have seen a return of more than the eight trophies won since Roman Abramovich's takeover in 2003, but has backed his former club for future success.

The former Germany international says the calibre of players who have been at Stamford Bridge over the past eight years represents an under-achievement, and points to the Blues quick succession of managers as an apparent disruption to their proposed trophy tilt.

Six managers had been at the helm in west London prior to Andre Villas-Boas' arrival earlier this summer - the latest man charged with the task of bringing success back to the Russian-owner.

"Chelsea should have won more trophies with their squad because the quality is there," confirmed Ballack in an interview with the Times. "The ambition was there and you can see what the club has spent on players.


"Changing the manager every year did not help, but you cannot expect to have a situation like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United."

Now at Bayer Leverkusen, the 34-year-old midfielder finds himself in the unfamiliar position of pitting against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League, as the two sides prepare to do battle in next Tuesday's opening round of qualifying group games.

As a two-time runner-up in Europe's top-tier competition, including with Chelsea in 2008, Ballack is confident the premier trophy won't elude the Blues forever.

"The Champions League may come for Chelsea when they're not expecting it," he concluded.

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