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Made in Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club are one of the most successful clubs in England in recent years. The current champions of Europe and FA Cup winners are top of the Premier League for the first time since November 2010.

The Blues' success over the last decade has been in no small part down to Roman Abramovic, but he is not the only key man who has contributed to Chelsea's emergence as one of Europe's top clubs.

Abramovich (thought to be worth $12.1b) has certainly spent plenty of money during his time at Chelsea since 2003.

The Russian tycoon broke the British record transfer fee when signing Fernando Torres for £50m.

Success came almost instantly with Abramovich. He recruited Jose Mourinho as manager in his second season and Chelsea went on to win the Premier League.

Since the Russian’s arrival, the club have won nine major trophies – the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League (three times), the FA Cup (four times - with 2010 providing the club’s first ever league and FA Cup double) and the League Cup twice.

Mourinho, who was dubbed ‘The Special One’, set a string of records in English football with Chelsea, including the most points ever achieved in the Premier League (95) and the fewest goals conceded (15).

The 2005-06 season saw Chelsea win their second consecutive Premier League title and Mourinho’s fourth domestic title in a row.

Speculation about a fall out 

The following season, media speculated that the manager had a fall out with Abramovich and that Mourinho would leave the club, although despite the unrest, Chelsea (under Mourinho) won the League Cup again.

The first final to be played at Wembley stadium was won by Mourinho’s Chelsea as they beat Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup final; this also meant he had won every domestic trophy available to a Premier League manager.

The following season saw another record set; Chelsea managed 64 consecutive home league matches without defeat. ‘The Special One’ eventually left the club ‘by mutual consent’ although there had been a series of disagreements with chairman, Abramovich.

He left the club as the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history, having won six trophies in three years; he was also undefeated in all home league games.

Didier Drogba joined Chelsea during Mourinho’s managerial reign in 2004. The Ivorian striker won the League title in his first season at the club and scored in the League Cup final, which won them the Cup.

Drogba won the Premier League for the second time the following season. In the 2006-07 season, the striker scored 33 goals, winning him the Premier League Golden Boot, he also scored the winning goals in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals.

Fetish for cup finals

Drogba seemed to have a fetish for scoring in domestic cup finals, he equalised for Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup, and the following year he was instrumental in the club clinching their first double, winning his second Golden Boot and scoring the only goal in the 2010 FA Cup final.

Yet another goal in a cup final was scored by Drogba, becoming the only player in history to score in four separate FA Cup finals, when he scored in Chelsea’s win over Liverpool in the 2012 final.

He saved the best until last though; his final appearance for Chelsea came in the UEFA Champions League final, where he scored an 88th minute equaliser and the winning penalty in the deciding shoot-out for Chelsea to win the competition.

It was said that Drogba “won the Champions League for Chelsea”, making him one of the most influential players for Chelsea.

John Terry has been Chelsea’s captain for over ten years, winning back-to-back Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups, two FA Community Sheilds and of course, the UEFA Champions League which still remains in every Chelsea supporter’s minds.

Despite the centre-back having plenty of off-field problems in recent years, no-one can deny that Terry is one of the clubs most influential players to have ever graced on the pitch.

His incredible record since playing regular football for Chelsea is something no-one can deny; he has also been involved in UEFA’s Team of the Year four times in the last seven years.

Terry still captains the team out at the age of 31-years-old, which many are sure he will retire at the club where he developed into one of England’s greatest defenders.

Top of the Premier League

The reigning European Champions and FA Cup winners are currently top of the Premier League after their opening two wins; the club has managed to attract players such as Eden Hazard from Lille, who participated in the club’s first two games of their 2012-13 league campaign.

Frank Lampard will continue to be Chelsea’s most influential midfielder of recent years, the box-to-box midfielder was the clubs top scorer last season, and has won the same amount of trophies as Terry during his time at Chelsea.

Lampard won the Premier League’s ‘Player of the Decade’ according to statistics, due to his high goal scoring and assists throughout the years. 

Lampard has already scored two goals from two games this season; he is set to be one of the most influential players in Chelsea’s history.

Ashley Cole has been known for being one of the best left-backs in history for Chelsea and England; he has won the Premier League, the League Cup, the FA Community Shield, the UEFA Champions League and four FA Cups during his time at Chelsea.

Cole was named in the 2011 PFA Team of the Year Award.

Cech was best goalkeeper in 2004/2005

Petr Cech arrived at Chelsea during the same time as Drogba, Cech has received the individual award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004/05, 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons of the UEFA Champions League.

The Czech goalkeeper appeared in goal for Chelsea 256 times in the past eight years, there is no doubt that Cech is one of the most influential goalkeepers in Chelsea’s history.

Roberto Di Matteo deserves a mention in Chelsea’s most influential men over the years; the current Chelsea boss took over from Carlo Ancelotti following his dismissal.

Di Matteo was caretaker boss when Chelsea became the first London club in history to win the UEFA Champions League in 2012. The Italian also guided Chelsea to win their seventh FA Cup during his short spell as manager at the time.

His influence could be one of the main reasons he lead his team to beat Spanish giants and possibly the best ever assembled team, Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, one of the most memorable matches of all time, especially for Chelsea supporters.

By Josh Harris

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