There are many candidates for a starting point when the Chelsea revolution began and the club transformed itself from the struggling one of the 80's and early 90's to the global side they are now. However perhaps the strongest claim to that starting point would be under Glenn Hoddle's management between 1993 to 1996.
Hoddle, as stylish a player as England has producded, carried that ethos into his management and transformed the style of play to one not seen at the Bridge since the early 70's. His signings of Mark Hughes and especially Ruud Gullit were sensations at the time and took Chelsea into another league in terms of quality and reputation and would in turn allow Gullit, when he took over, to attract the likes of Di Matteo, Leboeuf and Zola.
Hoddle set the foundations, both on and as importantly off the pitch, but the lure of England meant he wasn't able to see it through to it's full trophy winning potential himself.