MATA: DREAM BELIEVER
Juan Mata, having held the European Cup in his hands, spoke about the long-held ambition he fulfilled.
It completed a remarkable first season at Chelsea for the 24-year-old with a second piece of silverware secured along with the club's Player of the Year award.
'It's a trophy that you always dream of winning, since you are a small boy,' Mata said. 'I remember watching finals in the past, and famous players lifting the Cup, and I have it here now, so that is just a dream.
'It has been an incredible season, with a fantastic finale. We were behind until the 88th minute. We all thought we were losing the match, and then we managed to score the equaliser. We then made it into the penalty shoot-out, and this time we won the penalty lottery.
'You have to always believe,' he added.
'We played with lots of belief in ourselves, especially after we won the tie against Napoli, when we managed to turn around a 3-1 first-leg defeat. And then against Barcelona, one of the best teams there is. And then on Saturday, after we were behind, and we managed to fight back and turn the match around. It's just all fantastic.'
Mata's unconverted penalty in the shoot-out happily was not critical and it was his corner that Didier Drogba had earlier headed in to equalise. He paid tribute to our centre-forward after the victory.
'I'm very happy for him, he deserves it. It was a match that had everything for him, the goal, the penalty he gave away, and then the decisive penalty he took. He deserves to have won it, after they lost in Moscow four years ago.'