Are Chelsea the dark horses to win the Champions League for a second time?
It has been common knowledge that the supreme capture of three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups in the past ten years had established Chelsea as a dominant force in English football.
However, the one trophy that had eluded Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink was the coveted UEFA Champions League.
When Andre Villas Boas took over at the helm at the London club, there were several similarities to Jose Mourinho's career and had people wondering if AVB had it in him to match Jose Mourinho's record at Chelsea. However, Chelsea under Villas Boas had problems.
More notably with Chelsea's older players such as Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba. This lead to the club slumping in the Premier League and after a 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion.
The young Portuguese coach was sacked and replaced by fan favourite: Roberto Di Matteo. After the defeat in Naples, Chelsea went on a Champions League run, beating Napoli, Benfica and Barcelona and ending up in the Champions League final in Munich courtesy of an iconic goal from Fernando Torres. Chelsea went on to win the Champions League with Didier Drogba starring in an unbelievable final.
The spirit of that Champions League win is still recognised today. As Gary Neville famously said: "It is written in the stars". Some things are meant to be. And that year was Chelsea's.
Two years on, and Chelsea have another Champions League semi-final to look towards. After a great 2-0 win against PSG, some have started to believe that there are signs of that Champions League spirit of 2012 in this campaign.
And of course, the famous run down the touchline in 2004 when Jose Mourinho's Porto knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford and went on to win the trophy. We all saw a similar run made by Jose against PSG, after Demba Ba scooped the ball into the net and sparked wild celebrations over Stamford Bridge.
The team that Roberto Di Matteo steered towards the Champions League title wasn't glittered with stars. It was a team that was performing badly in the league and had just managed to squeeze through into the final.
However, they won it. And many believe that under Jose Mourinho's guidance, they can do it again. Mourinho arguably has a better squad than Di Matteo had under his command. Players like Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Andre Schurrle and Cesar Azpilicueta have graced the Premier League and have also performed in Europe as well.
And of course, the seasoned Samuel Eto'o. Who has vast experience in the tournament after winning it with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and of course Inter Milan with Jose Mourinho.
Jose seems to turn it up in the big games. His preparation is critical to the match and plays a vital part in how his team go into the game, with a different mindset and attitude. Could this be the year that he finally lands the Champions League trophy with the Premier League giants?
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