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Top of the world

For a supporter it doesn’t get any better than this. We catch up with three Chelsea fans to savour their moment of triumph in Porto

INTERVIEWS James Hanley, Nuno Tavares and Seb Powell

“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!
London Grammar, with Dot Major on the right


“It’s been a really amazing year”


When London Grammar's Lose your head soundtracked BT Sport’s closing montage for the 2020/21 Champions League, it was the icing on the cake for lifelong Chelsea fan Dominic “Dot” Major. Here the 30-year-old musician reflects on a night he will never forget

“I started going to Stamford Bridge with my dad when I was really young, maybe four or five. I went to a lot of big games as a kid – the last FA Cup final at the old Wembley and the first one at the new Wembley – and I was at the Bolton away game in 2005 when we won the Premier League for the first time.

The Champions League win of 2012 is my most special memory as a Chelsea fan. I was in the weirdest place for that match: a sports bar in Disneyland Paris, surrounded by Bayern Munich fans. I’m still a huge fan, obviously, but that was the team I grew up watching and there was something about that side that just meant so much. I was actually with Dan [Rothman, London Grammar guitarist] when Fernando Torres scored in the last minute against Barcelona [in the 2012 semi-final]. We were doing some rehearsals at Dan’s house and he’s a Chelsea fan too, so we jumped all over the sofas!

“When Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January this year, our expectations were pretty low. I love Frank, he’s such a legend at the club, but I didn’t think we would even get past Atlético Madrid in the last 16 the way we were playing. I’ve been at some crazy games under Frank. In fact, one of the last games I got to go to was the 4-4 against Ajax in 2019. We were just so erratic.

“The first thing Tuchel did was make us solid at the back. Tactically, he really did make his mark. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manager make an impression more quickly. It was quite different to when Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked: that time it felt like we won it purely on the spirit and desire of those old Mourinho players.

“It was a shame I didn’t make it to the final in Porto but I’d been watching a lot of games with the guys I normally sit with in the Matthew Harding Stand, so I had a couple of them around to my place in London and we watched it outside together. It felt better going into the game as underdogs, especially having beaten Manchester City twice in the weeks leading up to it. It felt like Tuchel had Guardiola’s number a little bit, and the way Pep lined up without Fernandinho just felt a little bit desperate.

“It was madness when Kai Havertz scored; I can’t remember celebrating a goal that much for a long time. I get so nervous watching the Champions League; it’s always been that way and I had forgotten that feeling. When we played Real Madrid in the semi-final, my heart was beating through my chest. Being up against English opposition in the final made it even more terrifying.

“We played Lose Your Head over the outro on BT Sport. If we’d lost, it would have been us playing City out, so there was an extra layer of nerves knowing how much was at stake. It was mad enough that Chelsea got there in the first place and now there will always be this video of us playing as they lift the trophy.

“It’s been too long since I’ve been at Stamford Bridge. I can’t wait to get back and I’m just so happy to see there’s going to be Champions League football again next season.”

Long-time Chelsea fan Steve Lovelock; pitchside (far right in red) at Stamford Bridge


“It was marvellous”


Chelsea pensioner Steve Lovelock has been supporting the Blues for half a century, but nothing compares to the past decade and a pair of Champions League triumphs. Covid restrictions may have muted celebrations at the Royal Hospital Chelsea but that didn’t stop the 78-year-old from raising a glass to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

“I’ve been a Chelsea Pensioner since 2011 and, since then, Chelsea have had a wonderful run. We’ve been very blessed with a very successful side. But if you ask me how long I’ve been a fan I can say, in all truthfulness, since about 1972. I was based in the UK having returned from Malaya. I used to come up to the Bridge to watch Chelsea play and that was in the days of Peter Osgood, who could walk on water as you know. Chelsea were kind of a middle-of-the-road side back in the day. There’s been a vast difference since Roman Abramovich took over.

“Normally we would have all watched the final together on the 50-inch screen. But due to Covid we can’t mix willy-nilly like we used to, so I had to watch it in my room (though I did manage to have a couple of glasses of wine to wash it down with). It was marvellous. The look on the City players’ faces was unbelievable; they all looked as if they’d lost their mothers or their wives. They were so glum. They were the dead-set favourites, weren’t they?

“The relationship between the club and the Pensioners has been going on for many years now, since 1907. We’ve always had an invitation to a majority of the home games, where we’re invited into the member’s club. We have a nice meal and a glass of wine, or a beer. We’re very well looked after and we’re very lucky to be involved.

“Me and a colleague, Dave Thomson, actually got to meet Eden Hazard while he was the club. I showed him a football that was kicked in the Battle of Loos in 1915 by the London Irish Rifles. They’d gone over the top and the ball was attached to the end of a bayonet. The ball itself was captured and has a number of holes shot in it, so it was deflated, but they managed to recover that ball. And in 2014 I was on the pitch with Hazard, who was presented with a special book because of the connection with Belgium.  

“The whole team has been fantastic recently. I do think once Timo Werner settles in he will score goals; he can be world class, he’s so quick around the pitch. Kai Havertz, who scored the winning goal, is clearly going to be a very good player. You’ve got Christian Pulišić, the American, and Mason Mount is superb. They’ve got a very good young side and I can see them doing well next season.

“I hope that our connection with Chelsea continues because it’s a really great thing. A couple of years ago they were running a scheme with some local school kids. There was an artist who produced a book that revolved around a Chelsea Pensioner, and they invited us to the stadium to give a little talk to the kids. I sat in the dugout where the manager sits and I’ve got this photograph of me talking to the school kids saying, ‘I’m in charge now. Forget José Mourinho, I’m here now!’ To be fair, with the number of managers that have been there since I’ve been a fan, I could’ve thrown my name in the hat at one stage. I’ve got the gift of the gab, what can I say!”

“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

Top of the world
Fans

Top of the world

For a supporter it doesn’t get any better than this. We catch up with three Chelsea fans to savour their moment of triumph in Porto

INTERVIEWS James Hanley, Nuno Tavares and Seb Powell

“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

Penalty Pedigree

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“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!
London Grammar, with Dot Major on the right


“It’s been a really amazing year”


When London Grammar's Lose your head soundtracked BT Sport’s closing montage for the 2020/21 Champions League, it was the icing on the cake for lifelong Chelsea fan Dominic “Dot” Major. Here the 30-year-old musician reflects on a night he will never forget

“I started going to Stamford Bridge with my dad when I was really young, maybe four or five. I went to a lot of big games as a kid – the last FA Cup final at the old Wembley and the first one at the new Wembley – and I was at the Bolton away game in 2005 when we won the Premier League for the first time.

The Champions League win of 2012 is my most special memory as a Chelsea fan. I was in the weirdest place for that match: a sports bar in Disneyland Paris, surrounded by Bayern Munich fans. I’m still a huge fan, obviously, but that was the team I grew up watching and there was something about that side that just meant so much. I was actually with Dan [Rothman, London Grammar guitarist] when Fernando Torres scored in the last minute against Barcelona [in the 2012 semi-final]. We were doing some rehearsals at Dan’s house and he’s a Chelsea fan too, so we jumped all over the sofas!

“When Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January this year, our expectations were pretty low. I love Frank, he’s such a legend at the club, but I didn’t think we would even get past Atlético Madrid in the last 16 the way we were playing. I’ve been at some crazy games under Frank. In fact, one of the last games I got to go to was the 4-4 against Ajax in 2019. We were just so erratic.

“The first thing Tuchel did was make us solid at the back. Tactically, he really did make his mark. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manager make an impression more quickly. It was quite different to when Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked: that time it felt like we won it purely on the spirit and desire of those old Mourinho players.

“It was a shame I didn’t make it to the final in Porto but I’d been watching a lot of games with the guys I normally sit with in the Matthew Harding Stand, so I had a couple of them around to my place in London and we watched it outside together. It felt better going into the game as underdogs, especially having beaten Manchester City twice in the weeks leading up to it. It felt like Tuchel had Guardiola’s number a little bit, and the way Pep lined up without Fernandinho just felt a little bit desperate.

“It was madness when Kai Havertz scored; I can’t remember celebrating a goal that much for a long time. I get so nervous watching the Champions League; it’s always been that way and I had forgotten that feeling. When we played Real Madrid in the semi-final, my heart was beating through my chest. Being up against English opposition in the final made it even more terrifying.

“We played Lose Your Head over the outro on BT Sport. If we’d lost, it would have been us playing City out, so there was an extra layer of nerves knowing how much was at stake. It was mad enough that Chelsea got there in the first place and now there will always be this video of us playing as they lift the trophy.

“It’s been too long since I’ve been at Stamford Bridge. I can’t wait to get back and I’m just so happy to see there’s going to be Champions League football again next season.”

Long-time Chelsea fan Steve Lovelock; pitchside (far right in red) at Stamford Bridge


“It was marvellous”


Chelsea pensioner Steve Lovelock has been supporting the Blues for half a century, but nothing compares to the past decade and a pair of Champions League triumphs. Covid restrictions may have muted celebrations at the Royal Hospital Chelsea but that didn’t stop the 78-year-old from raising a glass to Thomas Tuchel’s side.

“I’ve been a Chelsea Pensioner since 2011 and, since then, Chelsea have had a wonderful run. We’ve been very blessed with a very successful side. But if you ask me how long I’ve been a fan I can say, in all truthfulness, since about 1972. I was based in the UK having returned from Malaya. I used to come up to the Bridge to watch Chelsea play and that was in the days of Peter Osgood, who could walk on water as you know. Chelsea were kind of a middle-of-the-road side back in the day. There’s been a vast difference since Roman Abramovich took over.

“Normally we would have all watched the final together on the 50-inch screen. But due to Covid we can’t mix willy-nilly like we used to, so I had to watch it in my room (though I did manage to have a couple of glasses of wine to wash it down with). It was marvellous. The look on the City players’ faces was unbelievable; they all looked as if they’d lost their mothers or their wives. They were so glum. They were the dead-set favourites, weren’t they?

“The relationship between the club and the Pensioners has been going on for many years now, since 1907. We’ve always had an invitation to a majority of the home games, where we’re invited into the member’s club. We have a nice meal and a glass of wine, or a beer. We’re very well looked after and we’re very lucky to be involved.

“Me and a colleague, Dave Thomson, actually got to meet Eden Hazard while he was the club. I showed him a football that was kicked in the Battle of Loos in 1915 by the London Irish Rifles. They’d gone over the top and the ball was attached to the end of a bayonet. The ball itself was captured and has a number of holes shot in it, so it was deflated, but they managed to recover that ball. And in 2014 I was on the pitch with Hazard, who was presented with a special book because of the connection with Belgium.  

“The whole team has been fantastic recently. I do think once Timo Werner settles in he will score goals; he can be world class, he’s so quick around the pitch. Kai Havertz, who scored the winning goal, is clearly going to be a very good player. You’ve got Christian Pulišić, the American, and Mason Mount is superb. They’ve got a very good young side and I can see them doing well next season.

“I hope that our connection with Chelsea continues because it’s a really great thing. A couple of years ago they were running a scheme with some local school kids. There was an artist who produced a book that revolved around a Chelsea Pensioner, and they invited us to the stadium to give a little talk to the kids. I sat in the dugout where the manager sits and I’ve got this photograph of me talking to the school kids saying, ‘I’m in charge now. Forget José Mourinho, I’m here now!’ To be fair, with the number of managers that have been there since I’ve been a fan, I could’ve thrown my name in the hat at one stage. I’ve got the gift of the gab, what can I say!”

“Unbelievable scenes,” says Mason Mount as he stops for a pitchside interview shortly after the final whistle in Porto, his Chelsea team-mates buzzing from their 1-0 Champions League triumph against Manchester City. Blues fans are chanting in the background: “Champions of Europe, we know who we are.” Mount pauses to salute them, that trademark smile breaking out on his face. “Champions of Europe!” he repeats, the achievement still sinking in.

Kai Havertz got the only goal Chelsea would need on the night, thanks to another clinically efficient defensive performance starving Pep Guardiola’s side of the space and oxygen they need to play their game.

“The dominance of giving it everything, the hungriness of the team, the togetherness of this team; that’s what we’re about,” says Mount. “The fans are why we do it. We’ve had them out for over a year; they’ve not been in the stands. And now they’re here celebrating with us and we’ve won – and we’ve given the trophy to them.”

Here we talk to three of those fans about the thrill of watching their side lift the biggest prize that the club game has to offer.

Oliver Gnodde (right) with his dad John and brother Jack at the final


“It was bizarre just to be on a plane”


Oliver Gnodde, 25, was one of the lucky 6,000 Chelsea fans who made the trip to Porto and saw their team lift the trophy. Here he recalls his day in the sun

“We flew in on the morning of the game. That in itself was pretty amazing. Coming from England, it was just bizarre to be on a plane. The airport and even the line at the passport queue was fantastic; you could already feel the anticipation building. Everyone was there for the football so it was great.

“In Porto we headed straight to the fan park. It was right in the middle of the city among these old historic buildings. It was an unbelievable setting, all Chelsea blue in the middle of the square flanked by these beautiful museums.

“It was like a festival actually; such a great buzz with everyone in Chelsea kit. The sun was beating down and there was this sense of camaraderie, knowing that everyone was in it together having come over from England. They had a DJ playing on the big stage; singing the Chelsea songs was awesome.

“I don’t know if it was because we’ve just come through Covid, but in the stadium the atmosphere was absolutely electric. When you look around you, there aren’t that many people so you aren’t jostling with fans, but it seemed to be louder and they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes. It felt like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

“Chelsea were just so dominant for the first 40 minutes; we felt like we should have been 2-0 up. When the goal happened it almost felt like a switch had been flicked and Chelsea took their foot off the gas. As time went on City came more and more into the game. The atmosphere was so tense in the last 25 minutes, when City were just on the attack. You felt like a goal was going to happen at any second, and Chelsea were just holding on. But then we managed to pull it off – and we watched them lift the trophy.”

Penalty Pedigree

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