Can Chelsea be the first to retain European title?

 

(Getty)

 

Chelsea begin the defence of their Champions League title against Juventus knowing that no club have successfully retained Europe’s top prize for more than 22 years. The last of the elite band of eight teams to do so were AC Milan, with their victories in 1989 and 1990 when the competition was in its former guise of the European Cup. Not even the Barcelona team which won the Champions League in 2011, and regarded by many as the greatest club team ever, could achieve the feat of back-to-back wins.

“Chelsea are massive outsiders for this season’s Champions League,” said former Chelsea winger and BBC football pundit Pat Nevin.

“I wouldn’t even say they are in the top four favourites to win the competition. If they got to the semis that would be a really good effort.

“That’s because Chelsea are very close to a new team in many ways. The style is completely different. The personnel in many ways is different as well, in particular, from midfield to the front.

“To make all those changes and then to hope to go and win the Champions League is asking a lot.”

 

Read the rest of the article at BBC Sport to see what Chelsea’s manager, Roberto Di Matteo, has to say about his team’s chances in Europe this year. Meanwhile, Liam Twomey over at Goal.com provides his analysis regarding what the team needs to do to become the first club to mount a successful European title defence.

Twomey remarks that, “if further success at the top end of the Premier League and Champions League is to follow, however, more is required. The new Chelsea generation possess quality in abundance but, with Drogba gone and Frank Lampard and John Terry beginning to show their age, fresh leaders must be found.” The writer firmly places the club’s chances of continued success on the shoulders of the striker who is emerging from the shadow of Drogba, none other than Fernando Torres. “The Blues begin their Champions League defence against Juventus on Wednesday night and, as the Stamford Bridge faithful file in by the thousand to witness the spectacle, they will be hoping to have a new hero to cheer.”

 

 

 

 

 

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