We're hungry to win final, say Chelsea stars
Chelsea are hungry to become European champions for the first time in the club's history after disappointment of three semi-final defeats in the past four years, captain John Terry said Tuesday, the dpa reported.
"We have worked hard over the last four or five years without getting this far. The big prize is the trophy there," he said pointing to the cup on display at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Chelsea come up Wednesday against Premier League adversaries Manchester United who are looking to inflict further pain on the west London side, having already beaten them to the league title for a second successive season.
"We have come close and this has been hard to take over the years. Now we are on the biggest stage in Europe," he said.
"The atmosphere around the whole game is awesome. It is the biggest game of my career and I just want to get my hands on the trophy."
Terry and team-mate Frank Lampard spoke of the disappointments at going out at the semi-final stage to Monaco in 2004 and twice to Liverpool in 2005 and 2007.
Revenge over Liverpool came in this season's semi-final thanks in part to an extra-time penalty converted by Lampard.
"That was a big moment for me but tomorrow will be the defining moment for a lot of players in this team," the England midfielder said. "My defining moment will be if I am among my teammates and staff lifting the cup."
While United have said they would be inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster which killed eight players, Terry and Lampard spoke of Chelsea's desire to win Europe's top club prize.
"We have achieved a lot at Chelsea for four and five years and every year we have lost out...It's has made us more hungry," Lampard said.
"We know a losing finalist is forgotten in the history stakes."
Moscow appears to be the perfect venue to claim the trophy for the club's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.
Another positive omen for Chelsea supporters is that it was on May 21, 1971 that the club won their first European trophy, beating Real Madrid to claim the old Cup Winners' Cup.
Terry said it was a bonus to be playing the final in Moscow because without the massive investment by Abramovich the club would not have got as far, "but there will be no sentiment when we we go out the pitch."
There was nothing to choose between the two teams, he said, adding, "If it's a bad game so be it as long as we get our hands on the trophy."
Chelsea coach Avram Grant said although more of his players had experience of Champions League finals with other clubs, it would mean little in Wednesday's final.
He pointed out that AC Milan were also the more experienced side when they let go of a 3-0 lead against Liverpool, eventually to lose the 2005 final.
It was not age or experience that mattered but the desire to win, whether young or old.
"Sometimes it's better for players to be hungry. My players are hungry," he said.