Jose Mourinho has suggested that Chelsea's Champions League triumph in 2012 lacked credibility because of their poor performance in the Premier League.
Chelsea's run to the Champions League final was verging on the miraculous after a superb comeback against Napoli and an epic semi-final encounter against Barcelona. Beating Bayern Munich in their very own Allianz Arena in the final, Chelsea's greatest achievement was complete.
Tuesday's clash against Schalke 04 signals the first reunion with the man who inspired that triumph, Roberto Di Matteo. The former Blues star was caretaker manager at the time, but earned himself a permanent deal after achieving Roman Abramovich's ultimate aim.
"You can finish fifth and win the Champions League. Liverpool did and Chelsea too."
Poor Premier League form
Di Matteo was given the deal despite poor form in the Premier League, which saw them eventually finish sixth; the worst finish since Abramovich bought the club in 2003. And it is that erratic league form that Mourinho drew to when trying to summarise the volatility of the competition.
He told reporters: "The Champions League I say many, many times is not a consequence of a great work. You can win the Champions League in the worst season. You can finish fifth and win the Champions League. Liverpool did and Chelsea too.
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Luck favours the brave
"So the Champions League is something that you can not say 'this is the direction I want to go'. A knockout competition is something that always has a big percentage of unpredictability.
"I can do nothing to win it. I can only work to improve my team all the time, make a very good team like we are doing.
"Me working on the pitch, the board working at other levels to make a great team like we did in 2004/05/06.''
Regardless of how the Champions League was won, it was still the first in Chelsea's history, which automatically gave Di Matteo a spot in the club's history books.
It is a spot that Mourinho have no doubt loved to take for himself, but he says a club is made up of many legends and that he is already one of them.
"Don't ask me to speak about him,'' said Mourinho when asked about Di Matteo.
"The history is the history - he was on the Chelsea bench when Chelsea won the Champions League and he is a historic name in this club. I have nothing more to say.
"My name is in the history of this club. A football club is made of many, many names not one or two names or one player or one manager.
Chelsea can qualify for the second round of the Champions League by beating Schalke in the Veltins Arena. The Stamford Bridge leg resulted in a 1-1 draw, so Mourinho will be keen to avoid the same mistakes.
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