DESAILLY: IT'S IN THE DETAIL

Marcel Desailly played in Chelsea's first Champions League campaign and captained us in our second four years later. Prior to coming to London he was twice a winner of the competition. He spoke to the official Chelsea website ahead of today's final…


How did winning the Champions League, first with Marseille in 1993 and then with AC Milan in 1994 change you?
As a player you really feel like you are on top of the European roof. It is a huge achievement, especially as you don't know your opponent. In the Premier League you are used to the opponents, you are used to the stadiums. It is a great feeling because the Champions League has a great status.

The win with Marseille was something very special because it was the first time for the club and the first time for France. The third year, in 1995, I had the pain of losing the Final and Chelsea knows how painful it is to lose the Final of the Champions League. It makes you realise you have to be ready to sacrifice everything to get it.

Chelsea reached the semi-final in 2004 when you were here.
Yes, that was hard but the Final is very different. It is one game and no hope after if you don't win.

David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been in a fitness race. How is it for a centre-back to play a big game after a few weeks out?
It is 50-50, either you play with the adrenalin of being in the Final, which is something very special, and your concentration will balance out a lack of fitness and you are fine, or it doesn't go well at the beginning of the game and you lose a bit of confidence. Then you realise you are not fit, then you realise that the opponent is faster than you.

Chelsea don't really have a choice but the central defender has to be very focused and spend a bit of energy on the wing. There is a midfielder who will come to protect against Robben or Ribery but the central defender has to do special covering work on these players too.

What could be the deciding factor in the game?
Small details. The repetition of the effort - that you are willing to do more effort and you are willing to be more precise than your opponent. This is the only way.

How well has your old team-mate Roberto Di Matteo done?
He has the love for Chelsea, he was even a shareholder if you remember when Ken Bates was the owner, and because he had his injury he didn't finish normally as a soccer player at Chelsea so he would die to win the Champions League for the club.

He will not leave anything to chance, and the elder players who are remaining like Lampard and Drogba will for sure give 150 per cent. I believe everyone is ready. I have been talking to Di Matteo and he is focused on the work he has to do. I am excited about the possibility of him winning the Champions League because our generation of players built a foundation of the winning mentality at the club. I hope it will be a guy like him that brings the success.