Top five: Chelsea signings under Roman Abramovich
Chelsea opinion: A look at the best signings sanctioned by Blues' owner Roman Abramovich
A lot of people credit Roman Abramovich for half of Chelsea's fandom.
A decade ago, when the Russian tycoon took over the Premier League club, they had established themselves as one of the better clubs in Europe, but still were not genuine title contenders: be it the Champions League or the Premier League.
Under Abramovich, Chelsea propelled to heights that not even the most loyal of the club's supporters could have hoped for.
Amassing a trophy triumphs in a decade, Chelsea boast of a record only few can come close to matching, including being the only team to hold both the Europa League and the Champions League at the same time.
The main feature of Abramovich's reign has been the transfer money he has spent on improving his squad. Chelsea can compete with just about anyone in the transfer market under Abramovich and have signed almost legendary players in the past decade. Players who have taken them to all sorts of glory around Europe.
So, let us have a look at the top five signings of the Abramovich era.
5. Claude Makelele
Signed in the first year of Abramovich's era, Makelele turned out to be a legend in the blue of Chelsea. Signed from Real Madrid in 2003, he won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the League Cup twice during his five years at Stamford Bridge.
His immense performances in the holding midfield position earned him the nickname 'The Battery' and Chelsea's visible problems in that area ever since Makelele left the club for French giants Paris Saint-Germain underlines his impact and importance at the club.
4. Ashley Cole
One of the more controversial signings in Premier League history, a summer deadline day transfer that saw William Gallas move to the red side of London to Arsenal as a swap, Cole has been instrumental in several of Chelsea's triumphs over the years.
He is now widely regarded as one of the best full-backs in the world. Being instrumental in Chelsea's epic Champions League triumph under Roberto Di Matteo, Cole's performances have always been world-class in Chelsea's colors.
His transfer upset many Arsenal supporters - and seeing the impact he has had and the trophies he has won at Chelsea, one can understand why.
3. Didier Drogba
Chelsea paid a hefty £24m for Didier Drogba to French club Marseille, and the man from the Ivory Coast repaid every penny of that.
Scoring more than 150 goals for Chelsea, Drogba is more regarded for his ability to produce spellbinding performances at crunch situations for Chelsea. Fittingly, his last kick in Chelsea colors won them the Champions League.
Before that, he scored a riveting goal in the semi-finals against the mighty Barcelona, to lead them into the finals. Drogba has iconic status amongst the Chelsea fans and he has earned every bit of it.
2. Juan Mata
Only two years into his stay at Chelsea, Juan Mata has won back-to-back Chelsea Player of the Year awards. At a club flooded with some of the world's best players, it is not easy to hold your own in the attacking midfield position.
Mata has done exactly that. The Spaniard signed for Chelsea when he was one of the most sought-after talents in world football after a smashingly successful time at his native club, Valencia.
One of the best midfielders in the Premier League, Mata has all the qualities to become a Chelsea legend.
1. Petr Cech
For all the flair Chelsea have had in their attack, and for all the technical ability they've had in their midfield, it his surprising that Abramovich's best signing in the decade he has owned Chelsea is their goalkeeper.
But there is no denying the fact Petr Cech has been one of the most influential goalkeepers the world of football has ever seen. Easily among the best ever, Cech has been Chelsea's rock between the sticks for a decade. He has been ever so reliant for them and was instrumental in their Champions League-winning victory against Bayern Munich on penalties.
Chelsea's future seems to be secure between the sticks with Thibaut Courtois doing extremely well on his loan spell at Atletico Madrid but, at least for a few more years, Chelsea will find it tough to find a better replacement; such is the level of Cech's performances.
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