Victor Moses has joined Fenerbahce as Turkey continues to be a popular destination for members of our 2012 and 2013 European trophy-winning sides, with no less than seven Blues moving to that country since lifting those two pieces of silverware.
Moses will play on loan with the Istanbul club until the end of 2019/20 after six-and-a-half years as a Blues player, arriving at Stamford Bridge in August 2012. The Nigerian international certainly made a good start to his time on west London, helping us lift the Europa League trophy in his first season.
Although he signed too late to be registered for the group stage, Moses featured in every knockout round from the last 32 to semi-finals, and scored in both legs of the quarter-final against Rubin Kazan and the semi with Basel, playing a big part in our journey to the final, even if he was an unused substitute in the Amsterdam showpiece.
However, he is just the latest in a line of players involved in the 2012/13 season that ended in our Europa League victory and the previous year’s Champions League-winning campaign to have gone on to represent a Turkish team, and the second to have joined a club in that country during this transfer window.
The other is Demba Ba, who has returned for a fourth spell in Turkey with Istanbul Basaksehir, having arrived at Stamford Bridge just a few months before we lifted the Europa League trophy, becoming our first Senegalese player when signing from Newcastle United in January 2013.
However, he wasn’t able to play a part in the victory himself, being ineligible to take part due to featuring in the competition for the Magpies that season, before his winter transfer.
Another player who did contribute to that Europa League win was Marko Marin, who featured in our ties against Sparta Prague, Steaua Bucharest and Rubin Kazan, as well as being among the substitutes as we beat Benfica in the final at the Amsterdam ArenA.
However, the German winger struggled to establish himself in the Chelsea side, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar ahead of him in the pecking order, and went on loan to Turkish side Trabzonspor for the 2015/16 season, becoming a key member of their team, before departing the Bridge permanently for Olympiacos the next summer.
Trabzonspor fans are no strangers to seeing former Blues lining up in their colours. In fact, Marin was a team-mate at their Medical Park Arena of Jose Bosingwa, who played in every round of our glorious 2011/12 Champions League run.
The Portuguese right-back played the full 90 minutes as we beat Bayern Munich in the final, although it proved to be his final appearance for us before making the short move to Queens Park Rangers.
A year later he left England for Turkey and spent three seasons with Trabzonspor, remaining a regular in the side until retiring in 2016. His first campaign there also saw him playing alongside another man who played his last game for Chelsea in the Champions League final, Florent Malouda.
The French international came off the bench in the second half against Bayern, having been the victim of Roberto Di Matteo’s surprise decision to give Ryan Bertrand his European debut on the left-wing from the start of the final.
He joined Trabzonspor in 2013, but their financial troubles meant he returned to France with Metz after just one season in Turkey.
If Malouda wasn’t enough, Bosingwa also had his close friend and Chelsea and Portugal team-mate Raul Meireles for company in Turkey, as the midfielder made the switch from Stamford Bridge to Fenerbahce early in the 2013/14 season.
After featuring throughout our journey to the 2012 Champions League final, Meireles was one of the unfortunate Blues players who missed out on appearing in Munich due to suspension. In fact, he was even unluckier than most, receiving the yellow card which ruled him out in the very last minute of normal time in the second leg of our semi-final against Barcelona.
However, he had already more than earned his winner’s medal in that campaign, most memorably when the former Porto star silenced the fans of his old rivals Benfica at Stamford Bridge with a stunning strike from the edge of the box. His celebration certainly made his feelings towards the travelling supporters clear!
Both Meireles’ goals for Chelsea came in that season’s Champions League, having also found the net against Genk in the group stage, and he went on to become a Turkish champion during the four years with Fenerbahce which followed.
Of course, there was one more man who was playing his last game for the Blues at the Allianz Arena – or so we all thought – and went on to play in Turkey.
Didier Drogba’s heroics in Munich will never be forgotten, after he grabbed our equaliser before slotting home the decisive penalty in the resulting shoot-out, with his emotions as obvious after that victory as they were when he bid farewell to the Chelsea fans after eight incredible years over the following days.
After a spell in China, Drogba arrived in Turkey with Galatasaray in February 2013, and helped them secure that year’s Superlig title.
That meant he was back in the Champions League, and then returned to Stamford Bridge for our last-16 tie with Galatasaray, receiving a standing ovation from the Blues fans.
Little did we know he would soon be back in west London on a permanent basis, helping us win the Premier League and League Cup in a triumphant swansong during the 2014/15 campaign.