Blue is the colour, trophies are the game

Wednesday 15th May 2013 16:16

Chelsea: Hoping to celebrate another European trophy on Wednesday night

Chelsea: Hoping to celebrate another European trophy on Wednesday night

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With Chelsea in Europa League final action on Wednesday night, FanZoner Dylan Clive praises the club for reaching another European showpiece.

Europe treated us poorly at the start of this season; the first team to win the Champions League and then get knocked out in the group stages the following year is not a record that the club should dwell on.

Saying that, the first team to win the Champions League and Europa League in successive years and the only team to have ever held both of Europe's premier football trophies at the same time - yeah, that could work.

There will be some who try and belittle the achievement of reaching the final and attempt to convey the unimportance of the Europa League and how poorly rated it is. Last I checked there was only one British team left in Europe and for the second year in a row it is Chelsea Football Club. Bitterness from other teams and supporters is part and parcel of the game but I would implore them to improve their own performance in Europe before commenting on ours.

Every Chelsea fan would obviously prefer to be in the final of the Champions League again but it was not to be and the team have picked themselves up brilliantly. The next best thing was to be in with a chance of lifting the Europa League in Amsterdam tonight and we have duly done that.

Everyone knows that this time last year we were gearing up for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Munich with Chelsea legend RDM at the helm. We had the underdog support, Barcelona had been knocked out in the semi-finals after one of the most enthralling and nail-biting 10-man comebacks of all time and Gary Neville had a 'goal-gasm' in the commentary box as Fernando Torres rounded Victor Valdes.

The route to the final of the Europa League has been far less eventful, I think we were losing to Sparta Prague at one point, and with Benitez in charge it is only natural for there to be far less tension this time around.

Nevertheless, the Europa League experience was never going to compare to the Munich madness. This is a new adventure and should be treated as such. Our Champions League triumph was the greatest moment in the club's history but there is a danger that we become too obsessed with what we have already achieved and lose focus on adding to it and more significantly bettering it.

All the team can do is continue to build a winning spirit and fight for as many trophies as possible. This is the chance to win the Europa League and it is an opportunity that must not be taken lightly. Benfica are a quality outfit with plenty of attacking flair but we can take confidence from beating them in both legs of our Champions League quarter-final last year.

No doubt Ramires and David Luiz will be key figures in this evening's final after playing for the Portuguese giants before moving to the Bridge but we will be without Hazard and probably JT. Although a massive blow, we won the Champions League without either player last year so now is the time for a new Chelsea hero to step forward and for Torres to add to his European goalscoring exploits.

I'm not a particularly superstitious person but when it comes to finals, I don't like to leave things to chance; fingers crossed at all times and lucky pants to be worn without exception until the final whistle sounds.

May the celebrations then begin.

You can follow me on Twitter @DylClive and also don't forget to follow @FanZone on Twitter.



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