Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed the details of the conversation he had with club owner Roman Abramovich following Saturday’s historic FIFA Club World Cup win at the expense of Palmeiras.
The 48-year-old German coach fired the Blues to their first-ever success in the intercontinental club tournament in a second attempt, and dedicated the win to the Russian business mogul.
Up until a fortnight ago, Tuchel had been absent from the Chelsea’s Club World Cup campaign having been denied the opportunity to travel with the team after testing positive for Covid-19.
However, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss delivered the one major prize the club’s owner had yet to win after returning a negative test, catching a flight and arriving in Abu Dhabi in time to shout instructions from the touchline inside the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
It was all but a straightforward win for the German and the group he chose for the test against Palmeiras and after being pushed to their limit, victory eventually found its way into the camp of the Premier League outfit.
The game had been forced into extra-time after Raphael Veiga’s spot kick canceled out Romelu Lukaku’s opener but the possibility of a shootout was squashed when Kai Havertz converted a penalty the 117th minute to seal his side’s fate.
Following the end of the game, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich applauded his manager on the field, evoking memories from last season’s Champions League Final, when the two first met.
In turn, Tuchel dedicated the day’s success to the Russian billionaire, citing the key role he has played in getting the club to the level it is.
“It is good for him,” said the German. “We met shortly on the pitch after the final and I said ‘congrats’ and he said ‘congrats’ to me.
“I said, ‘It is for you and it is your club. Your input and passion that made it possible.’ The trophy is for him.”
The FIFA Club World Cup win over Palmeiras took Chelsea’s trophy count under Thomas Tuchel to three.
The London club have now won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the intercontinental club trophy in exactly a year and 17 days after the German’s appointment.