Chelsea FC is one of the most illustrious clubs in European football and one of the more successful sides in England.
Housed in West London their stadium is Stamford Bridge – a stadium steeped in history and which was built way back in 1876. The record attendance at Stamford Bridge is 82,905 but the capacity has been severely reduced in the advent of sitting room only and the Bridge now holds a maximum of 41,663 football mad supporters.
Chelsea are currently one of the most pre-eminent clubs in terms of domestic success in England with five league titles ad four of those coming since 2004. Their first winners medal came back in 1954/55.
They have won seven FA Cups, five League Cups and four Community Shields. They have also done particularly well in European competition with UEFA one Europa League win, two UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups and a UEFA Super Cup.
But Chelsea’s biggest achievement in Europe came in 2012 in a season for which it would be impossible to write the script.
After a shocking first period in their campaign Roberto di Matteo came in as interim manager to steady the ship. He oversaw a remarkable transformation which will see him forever etched into the hearts of Chelsea fans.
In a run which included an almost impossible win in the semi-finals against Barcelona, Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich in the final which was held – even more painfully for the Germans – in their very own stadium, The Allianz Arena in Munich.
In a game dominated by Bayern Munich, they went ahead through Thomas Muller in the 83rd minute. The game looked done and dusted until the supreme Didier Drogba popped up to score with a powerful header in the 88th minute to take the game into extra time.
Another 30 minutes couldn’t separate the sides but Chelsea took the final on penalties as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ivica Olic missed from the spot to send Chelsea fans and players alike into raptures.
Chelsea have always been known for their glamour and attacking traditions. But their history was changed forever by the takeover of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003. At the time Chelsea were struggling financially but Abramovich almost immediately turned them into one of the wealthiest clubs in the world.
To begin with fans were apprehensive about whether the Russian would put his money where his mouth was.
But the promised investment was greater than even the most optimistic Chelsea fan could have imagined. Chelsea not only brought in the best manager in the world – Jose Mourinho – but went to sign some of the leading lights in world football such as Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Claude Makelele, Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko.
And with the investment came a period of unprecedented success. Chelsea went from also rans in the league to the dominant force who overtook Manchester United as serial winners of the title. Having won the league just once prior in their history Chelsea battered the opposition under Jose Mourinho and won back to back titles in 2005 and 2006 with the opposition miles behind.
Jose Mourinho’s second stint in charge of the club saw another Premier League title in 2014/15.
The leading scorer in Chelsea’s history is the sensational Frank Lampard who hit 211 goals from midfield for The Blues between 2001-2014. Chelsea fans adored Lampard but their memories of him will have been slightly tainted by the fact that he moved to Manchester City before departing for Major League Soccer in America.
The Chelsea player with the most appearances to his name is Ron Harris who played a remarkable 795 games for the club in all competitions between 1961 and 1980.
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