It’s been over a week since we were crowned Champions of Europe and it still hasn’t sunk in. To be honest, I don’t really know when it will sink in. I can still close my eyes and see Drogba step up to the penalty spot, take a few steps back, run up to the ball and put it in the back of the net. My voice is still shot from yelling and celebrating. I can still feel that excitement of jumping up and down along with thousands of other supporters, my boyfriend picking me up, giving a hug and kiss to the people around me and yelling in unison, ‘We did it!’. I can see and feel all of that but it still doesn’t seem real.
As I look back on this season it’s hard to imagine that we are Champions League winners. After standing in a crowded ground in Genk and seeing Chelsea throw away a win, to standing in the Leverkusen ground and watching us yet again throw away a win, plus all of our home matches. I never would have guessed that we would have been in the final. Strangely, it was when we lost in Napoli that I said, don’t worry we’ll be in the final. That may sound mental but it’s absolutely true.
My trip to Munich was an interesting one but so was everyone else’s. I boarded a 10 1/2 hour flight from LA into London, landing midday on Friday. It was only a few hours later that my boyfriend and I, along with a few others, piled into the Magic Bus to begin the tedious journey to Munich. Dover to Dunkirk, 2 hours and lots of banter. Off the ferry and on the way to Augsburg after getting stuck in traffic and roadworks for hours, Germany efficiency my arse. It wasn’t until 16:00 that we finally arrived in Augsburg where the inept hotel woman finally gave us a key to our room. A very quick shower then a taxi to Munich for the first real meal we’d had in a day. Beer and pizza never tasted so good.
A walk to Marianplatz to the most densely populated train stop I’ve ever seen. TFL would have had a heart attack. It was then I wondered why I’d bothered to take a shower. Ridiculously hot in that station while we all waited to see what train was coming up to then pile on in the hope to get to the Allianz Arena. Thank you to the Germans for helping us sort that out! A few handbags and a flare being lit later, we finally got into the train. Sitting on Ossie’s lap because there was no other way we’d both be able to fit in that train, not that I’m complaining. The train was buzzing with talk of Moscow, of the final ahead of us and loads of Chelsea songs. Just the way a pre-match should be.
We finally got to the Allianz stop and made the walk down to the ground. What a beautiful site the Allianz Arena was! People mulling about everywhere, buying beer and souvenirs.
We got into the ground and it truly was awe inspiring. The way a final should be.
Chelsea were underdogs before the game kicked off and throughout the whole match we were still underdogs. We were outplayed, it’s as simple as that but our defense did it’s job brilliantly and Cech was magnificent. An absolute gem. When the Germans scored, my heart sank. I sat back in my seat and thought that was it, it’s over. All of this work and that’s it. RDM made the switch bringing Torres on and it made a huge impact. Sitting in my seat when Mata took the corner I thought, “It’s going to go in.” And it did. Drogba with a clinical header into the net. Game on. All of us went mental. At least, I know I did.
Extra time. What I thought would happen from the get go. What everyone was dreading. A missed penalty kick by Robben. A brilliant save from Cech and a bit of cheekiness by Mikel and loads of prayers from me. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
Penalty kicks. I’ve never prayed so much in my entire life. Every kick, praying we scored and praying that Cech could stop the Germans. I like to think that our collective prayers and the player’s (Cech’s especially) preparation won it for us. Maybe it was more preparation than divine intervention but whatever it was, it worked. Cech was crowned a legend and so was Drogba as he stepped up to the dreaded penalty spot. A run up and a ball into the back of the net. We won. We were the Champions of Europe. Finally.
The celebrations were brilliant. Football, the only place where we are all family. Hugging, kissing, screaming, crying. All together. And yes, I cried but only when I saw JT celebrate. JT will always have a special place in my heart after everything he’s endured in the Champions League. I know many gave him stick for what happened in Barcelona but he is a legend in my mind and seeing him finally life that big eared cup the tears started streaming down my face. I’m getting emotional just writing this now.
I still can’t believe we are Champions of Europe. What a night. What a trip (not in a good way). What a way to win the Champions League.
We are the Champions of Europe. I was there.
Written by Miss Gate 17
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