MOURINHO: A HARD HISTORY
Sixteen months after that night in Munich, Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea deserved to win the Champions League following all the years of hurt that preceded our 2012 success.
Mourinho, who has lifted the trophy with Porto and Inter, takes charge of us in the competition for the first time since his return to Stamford Bridge tonight when we host Basel, and hopes it is the beginning of a process that will bring our second Champions League success after several near misses in the previous decade.
'For me the important thing is that Chelsea had a dream, and the dream became true by winning the Champions League two years ago,' said the Portuguese.' I think it's normal that if you win it once you dream to win it twice. That's normal, and it happened to me. Then I dream to win it the third time, that's the nature of football.
'My feeling was that Chelsea, not specifically in that year, but all over the years, Chelsea Football Club and the players, the owner, and the fans, deserved to win it. It's a hard history to take and to keep fighting for.
'It starts in my time with the semi-final we lost and it was not a goal. [Then] we lose the semi-final on penalties. It's hard to take. The season after, they lose the final with penalties again. It's hard to take. After that comes the beautiful moment of the game against Barcelona with the referee from Norway, I think. It's a semi-final, it's hard to take.
'It's a history that is difficult. Some of the players were in every one of these moments. The fans were in every moment. The owner was in every moment. When Chelsea won the Champions League, they probably did it in a year nobody was expecting. The fact they did it, it was justice for a club and players that did so much to touch that cup.'
Who knows what the 2013/14 season will bring, but nobody will be trying harder than Mourinho to try and bring the Champions League trophy back to the Bridge.
Tonight's match programme is available in digital form here...