Thomas Tuchel, Jorginho, Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante were presented with awards by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin before kick-off at our opening match of this season’s Champions League.
The Chelsea quartet had all been announced as award winners during the draw for the Champions League group stage, which was held in Istanbul in late August, but were unable to attend to collect their trophies on the night due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
To make sure all four received their prestigious honours, Ceferin was in attendance for our first group game against Zenit St Petersburg tonight to hand them over in person, doing so pitchside in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd before the match began.
Thomas Tuchel accepted the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year trophy and Jorginho the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award in a clean sweep for Chelsea in the top two individual honours from European football’s governing body, recognising our head coach for guiding us to Champions League glory at the first attempt, while Jorginho also added international silverware with Italy at Euro 2020.
Mendy and Kante were named the best goalkeeper and midfielder, respectively, of the 2020/21 Champions League for their own roles in our run to the final and eventual triumph over Manchester City in Porto in May.
‘I never thought about reaching these heights when I started coaching, so it’s simply amazing,’ said Tuchel on being announced as the winner. ‘It feels a bit surreal, but we are absolutely delighted.
‘Like always it is a team effort in football, so I take it on behalf of my whole staff, and everybody who works hard at Cobham every day to push the team to the limits.’
Jorginho added: ‘It happened because of everyone and not just me, so it means a lot. I just want to say thank you to all those people who have helped along the way, and even those who didn’t believe in me because they motivated me to work even harder.
‘It’s a great feeling, I’m really happy and I just want to say thank you to everyone.’