An incredible end to the 2020/21 season for Christian Pulisic ensured he lifted silverware with club and country in the space of less than two weeks, with the American admitting it still has not really sunk in.
We are only halfway through 2021, but it has already been a year to remember for Pulisic, thanks to a dream finish to the previous campaign.
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Every Chelsea fan will know all about the first half of his trophy-filled 10 days, as he was part of the team which triumphed in the Champions League final in Porto, adding that particular competition to our honours list for the second time in our history.
Pulisic came off the bench in the second half of that 1-0 victory over Manchester City on 29 May and nearly two months later admits he is not used to his status as a European champion.
‘The whole thing was kind of unreal,’ he explains. ‘I don’t know, winning it has never really fully hit me I don’t think. Maybe it will in more time. I think it will take me a couple of years for it to really sink in!’
It has not stopped him enjoying the memories of that night in Portugal, though, and he also believes the feel-good factor among the squad will carry over into the new season.
‘It’s just a really proud moment in my career, to be involved in a success like that. I think a lot of the guys will go into this season nice and confident and that’s really important, and also everyone is hungry to win more which is the best thing you can have in the team. We all just want to keep on getting better.’
However, that was just the start for Pulisic, as almost immediately after that final he was travelling back home to the USA, where he met up with his international team-mates, including Chelsea defender Matt Miazga, to compete in the new CONCACAF Nations League finals for the top sides from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
After helping his side to a semi-final win over Honduras just six days after the Champions League final, the 22-year-old then captained his country for the final against Mexico, and scored the decisive goal in extra-time to give a youthful new-look USA side a 3-2 victory on home soil in Colorado, and pick up his second winner’s medal in 10 days.
‘The Champions League win was incredible and I really wanted to finish off the year strong. Then I went off with the national team and that was a really important win for us too, for the younger guys that we have.’
‘It was almost a full stadium so it was really cool, with a really intense atmosphere so I really enjoyed it and it was a strong way to end the season.’