Ballack: We want to be Europe's best

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Michael Ballack is determined to erase the memory of last season's Champions League final defeat to Manchester United by lifting the trophy in Rome at the end of May.

Ballack played his defensive part in Chelsea's creditable goalless draw with Barcelona in their semi-final first leg in the Nou Camp last night. A superb defensive performance from the Blues kept free-scoring Barcelona at bay to give Chelsea a slight advantage going into the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week.

"We don't just want to reach the final, we want to win it," said Ballack. "You could see by the team spirit that everyone wants to get to the final again."

Chelsea were defiant and disciplined to a man as they stifled the life out of Barca's attack.

The Catalan giants had not failed to score at home all season and Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o have hit 90 goals between them.

But makeshift left-back Jose Bosingwa made Messi looked distinctly ordinary and John Terry and Alex were rock solid at the heart of the back line.

The rest of the Chelsea team produced equally praiseworthy displays, including Germany midfielder Ballack who is determined to wipe away the memory of last year's defeat in Moscow with victory in Rome.

"It's not easy to reach the final again in the next year, but we have a big chance now," added the Germany midfielder.

"If you saw how we got through to the final last year we were very focused and knew what we had to do.

"We have that experience to go on but Barcelona have it as well. There are always little points or a mistake that decide a game and this could be what happens at Stamford Bridge."

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John Terry
Premier League
Manchester United
Michael Ballack
Jose Bosingwa
Thierry Henry

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