Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel met owner Roman Abramovich for the first time and is confident he will be offered a new contract after winning the Champions League in his first six months at the club.
Chelsea turned a hectic season into an ultimate triumph as Kai Havertz’s icy final brought Manchester City down 1-0 to secure Champions League glory in Porto.
In just 124 days, Tuchel transformed Frank Lampard’s confused men into nasty tactical machines – and European champions.
The 47-year-old arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in January with a fiery reputation but reinvented himself as a taskmaster with a cheerful spirit and a tendency to tease the best of his players.
Tuchel insisted he was not afraid of the shortness of his 18-month contract when he arrived at Chelsea, even admitting that a five-year contract wouldn’t save his skin if he underperformed.
But the German revealed following his first meeting with Abramovich at the Estadio do Dragao pitch that a new contract was in sight.
“I’m not even 100% sure, but I might already have a new contract with this win,” Tuchel said. “My manager said something about it. I didn’t know, but let’s check this first. I spoke to the owner (Roman Abramovich) right now on the pitch, which was the best time for a first meeting !
“… Or the worst from now on, it can only get worse! We’ll talk tomorrow, we’ll talk later, but I’m looking forward to it.
“I can assure him that I am going to stay hungry, that I want the next title and I feel absolutely happy to be part of a really ambitious club and to be part of a really strong group that matches my beliefs and my passion for football at the moment perfectly. My desire is to go for more wins and my desire is to grow as a coach. My desire is to push the squad from day one of next season to the limit.
“We have work to do and we need to close the gap. That’s who I am, so it will be nice to meet him a little closer. We’re in constant contact but not personal. He knows what’s going on. from me directly, but now it’s nice to meet him. “
Pep Guardiola fielded a surprise pivotless midfielder in a bid to catch Tuchel and the Blues, but the momentum backfired and City paid the price.
Guardiola spent five years perfecting City for European domination, but that frustrating wait continues.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss last won the Champions League in 2011, the year before Chelsea’s first European triumph. Guardiola will continue to cringe, but Tuchel – who lost the final last season with PSG to Bayern Munich – still has one against City’s Catalan coach.
“Sharing it with everyone is amazing,” Tuchel added. “I don’t know what to feel. I was so grateful to arrive a second time [in the final]. I felt different. We were sort of … You could feel it coming closer.
“The [players] were determined to win this. We wanted to be a stone in their shoe. We encouraged everyone to stand up and go out, be more courageous and create dangerous counterattacks. “
Havertz: I waited 15 years for this moment
Chelsea striker Kai Havertz:
“I don’t know what to say. I really don’t know what to say. I’ve waited a long time.
“Now I want to thank my family, my parents, my grandmother and my girlfriend. I don’t know what to say.
“I have waited 15 years for this moment and now it is here.”
Chilwell: That’s why I came to Chelsea
Chelsea winger Ben Chilwell described the victory as a dream come true, saying that’s why he joined the club last summer.
“We fought so hard today,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. The second half… we fought for our lives to come to this moment, to have that feeling.
“That’s why I came to Chelsea. It’s a dream come true.
He added: “The key was to be tight and to be aggressive. I got tired as the game progressed, but when the Champions League is up for grabs you don’t really get tired.
“Everyone stood up for their lives. We won the Champions League so I don’t care how we played!”
“It means a lot. I came here in 2012 after the Champions League win and of course I wanted to say it again. Tonight it’s just amazing. My family is here and it’s just a special day. “
Frame: We are the best in the world
Mason Mount has claimed Chelsea can now call themselves the best team in the world after their childhood dreams came true after their Champions League success.
“As a child, I dreamed of going all the way, making a final and winning it,” said the England international. “That’s what this cup is for.
“I went there when I was a kid, now to go all the way in the Champions League, through tough matches – we faced top teams – and now we are in the final and we have won , this is such a special occasion.
“Right now we’re the best team in the world and you can’t take that away from us.”
Mount also paid tribute to the beaten side of City.
“City – what a team they are,” he added. “They’re very difficult to prepare. You don’t know what you’re going to get. They have the best players and it’s such a tough game.
“They gave it their all, just like us. My post-game celebrations were cut short because I went to them. I know what they gave.
“They deserved to be here because of what they’ve done this season.”
Guardiola: We will come back one day
Meanwhile, it was disappointment for Man City as they fell to the last hurdle in their quest to win the Champions League for the first time.
A deflated Pep Guardiola has defended Ilkay Gundogan’s selection as a midfielder, despite the change which has caused obvious problems for his side.
He said: “I did my best in the selection. I made the best selection to win the game, the players know that.
“I think Gundogan played well. We missed a bit in the first half to break the lines, but in the second half it was a lot better. It was a close game but we had huge chances. “
Kevin de Bruyne came off with a seemingly painful facial injury after hitting Toni Rudiger, but Guardiola downplayed the seriousness of the problem.
“I don’t know about the pain in his face, I haven’t seen him or talked to the doctor. But I hope, I hope it won’t be a big deal.”
Guardiola has lost more matches – eight – against Chelsea in all competitions than against any other club, losing their last three games in a row against the Blues.
Indeed, the only other teams against which he has lost three times in a row in his coaching career are Real Madrid (2012-14) and Liverpool (2018). But the City boss has vowed his side will come back stronger after the setback.
“It is an exceptional season that we have had,” he added. “It’s an honor to be here. Today we are sad but when we analyze it has been a successful season for us.
“In the second half we were brilliant and brave. But they are defending so hard and are so quick on the counterattack.
“We didn’t allow them to go through the process to play, the players were exceptional, all of them, and maybe we will come back someday.”
And after? Euros, transfer window, key dates 2021/22
Euro 2020 kicks off Friday 11 June – just 19 days after the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season – and runs until Sunday July 11.
The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 – 34 days after the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Clubs can start planning for the new term when the top matches are released at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday June 16 but transfer activities can start in earnest before this date, with the summer transfer window opening on wednesday 9 june.
The 2021/22 championship season begins a week before the top-level one on the weekend of saturday 7 august. All Sky Bet EFL matches will be announced at 9 a.m. on Thursday June 24.