Roman Abramovich’s stint as Chelsea owner is coming to an end after he announced the club is up for sale.
The Russian confirmed on Wednesday evening that he was open to offers. He said in a statement published on Chelsea’s website: “In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.”
The Russian bought the club in 2003. The Blues have been hugely successful in the past 19 years and have had numerous world-class players.
But which players make it into Chelsea’s best XI of the Abramovich era? We’ve answered that question and you can view the team we have selected below…
GK: Petr Cech
Chelsea have had brilliant goalkeepers in the past 19 years, including Thibaut Courtois and Edouard Mendy.
But it’s impossible to overlook Cech, who is arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history.
He played 494 times during his 11-year stint at the club.
LB: Ashley Cole
There isn’t too much competition here. Cole is one of the best left-back’s of the 21st century and simply has to make the side.
CB: John Terry
Like Cole, Terry’s place in the team cannot be debated. He was integral in a Chelsea side that won five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2012.
CB: Ricardo Carvalho
Picking Terry’s partner in defence isn’t a simple task. Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva have both been brilliant for the club over the past few years but we’ve gone with Carvalho.
Carvalho was a key part of a Chelsea side that conceded just 15 goals in the 2004/05 Premier League season, a record that seems almost unbreakable.
He stayed six years at the club, scoring 11 times in 210 games.
RB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Branislav Ivanovic was a brilliant right-back but you have to go with Azpilicueta.
A versatile defender who can operate anywhere along the backline and always gives his all, the Spaniard has racked up 461 appearances for the club and counting.
His contract runs out in the summer but, even if he does leave, he has already established himself as a Chelsea legend.
CDM: Claude Makelele
Makelele was so good he had his own role named after him. He spent five brilliant seasons at Chelsea, scoring twice in 217 games.
CDM: N’Golo Kante
A midfield consisting of Makelele and Kante would just be unfair. Kante has been brilliant for Chelsea since signing in 2016. He continues to play a key role for the club at 30 years old.
CAM: Frank Lampard
Arguably Chelsea’s best ever player. Lampard scored 211 times in 13 years for Chelsea, a quite absurd tally for a midfielder.
CAM: Eden Hazard
Hazard is naturally a winger but we’re putting him in a more central role to accommodate himself and other players.
Signed for £32m in 2012, the Belgian magician played 352 times for the Blues and scored 110 goals, before departing for Real Madrid in 2019.
He helped Chelsea to six trophies, including two Premier League titles.
Roman Abramovich ANNOUNCES Sale of Chelsea! | The Football Terrace
ST: Didier Drogba
Drogba struggled during his first few seasons and it looked as if his Chelsea spell would be brief.
But he decided to stay and he soon came good as he established himself as a club legend.
The Ivorian scored 164 times for the Blues across two spells. His performance as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League trophy in 2012 was nothing short of herculean.
ST: Diego Costa
Chelsea have spent big on countless strikers in the past 19 years and the majority of them have failed to live up to expectations. But not Costa.
The Spaniard was unplayable at times during his three seasons at the club, scoring 59 times in 120 games.
That side is just ridiculously strong. The team is so good that only two players from Chelsea’s current side make the XI: Azpilicueta and Kante.
Among the players that miss out include Mendy, Rudiger, Ivanovic, Michael Essien, Cesc Fabregas, Michael Ballack, Joe Cole, Arjen Robben and Juan Mata.