As a player Marcel Desailly excelled in football’s biggest fixtures. He won 116 caps for France, he was part of that nation’s only team ever to win the European Cup/Champions League when at Marseille and he followed that up by being part of AC Milan at their absolute zenith.
He was also at Chelsea during our first Champions League campaign, and therefore the news our former captain has for us ahead of tonight’s game for Chelsea Legends against Real Madrid Legends may come as some surprise.
‘I have never played in the Santiago Bernabeu - never!’ Desailly announces.
‘I have played in the Nou Camp but never played in the Bernabeu so it is a great opportunity for me to finally realise my wish to do that.
‘And getting back into the playing system is good,’ he adds. ‘The team building, being in a group preparing for the match, with coach Zola. It is emotional to be part of it again.
‘Now as a retired player most of the time I am on my own, travelling around the world between a mix of charity and business work, and getting back into this atmosphere is nice.’
Speaking of atmosphere, a big crowd is expected tonight in the stadium for a match that will raise money for charity, and Desailly is not surprised.
‘When big names are there, they want to see the guys back on the field for the memories. There are a generation of players who have been important for fans.’
Click for details of how the game can be watched live on The 5th Stand app and Chelsea TV from 6pm, with kick-off at approximately 6.20pm (UK time).