Winning the Champions League is the dream of every elite coach in Europe and it was Thomas Tuchel’s turn to get his hands on the famous trophy last weekend.
Tuchel’s Chelsea side went into the 2021 Champions League final as underdogs against Premier League title-winners Manchester City but sealed a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Porto thanks to Kai Havertz’s first-half goal.
Chelsea’s players, coaching staff and supporters celebrated jubilantly as soon as referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz blew the full-time whistle at the Estadio do Dragao.
Tuchel, who reached last season’s Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain, said he was “almost speechless” after winning the European Cup.
“It is a fantastic achievement, congratulations to everybody,” Tuchel said in his post-match press conference. “We knew that we needed a strong, top level performance and strong bond today to overcome this emotion, to have a chance to win this match. This is what we did.”
Video: Tuchel shows his class after final whistle in UCL final
Footage filmed from the stands has now been posted to social media showing the moment the final whistle went.
Chelsea’s coaches and subs, overcome with joy, sprinted onto the pitch to begin the celebrations.
Tuchel, however, immediately turned away from his colleagues and made a beeline for City boss Pep Guardiola.
The German tactical consoled the City head coach and the pair of them walked together while having a post-match chat.
Watch the footage here…
As @nomifooty says in the video’s caption, not every manager would have remembered to immediately turn back at such a highly emotive moment.
But it speaks volumes that Tuchel remembered to take time out to speak with Guardiola.
After experiencing defeat in the 2020 Champions League final, the Chelsea boss is acutely aware of how Pep would have felt at the time.
Fair play, Thomas. Great sportsmanship.
Tuchel and Guardiola’s mutual respect
Tuchel and Guardiola have strong mutual respect for each other, stemming back to their time working in Germany.
But Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss in January, has already beaten Guardiola’s City three times since arriving in England.
All three of these victories have, in fact, come in the past couple of months.
Chelsea recorded a 1-0 win over City in the FA Cup in April before beating the same revered opponents 2-1 in the Premier League several weeks later.
Despite their friendship, there’s no doubt that Pep will already be formulating a plan to thwart Tuchel and Chelsea next season.
How Tuchel made Chelsea European champions (The Football Terrace)