Kai Havertz insists “self-belief” has been the key to Chelsea’s memorable UEFA Champions League adventure this season ahead of Saturday’s final against Manchester City in Porto.
Chelsea, who secured a top four berth in the Premier League on the final day of the season on Sunday afternoon, despite losing out 2-1 at the hands of Aston Villa, will lock horns with City in their quest to become European champions for the second time in their history.
Although the Blues will almost certainly enter the contest as underdogs, given that City are the newly-crowned Premier League champions, they will be going to Portugal with the intention of returning to west London with club football’s greatest prize as part of their luggage.
Chelsea have proven right throughout the knockout stages that they are a force to be reckoned with, seeing off Atletico Madrid, Porto and then Real Madrid, highlighting just how much confidence will have been collected from those victories.
“We’ve picked up a lot of self-belief over the last few months from our good results and how we’ve played,” Havertz told Chelsea’s club website.
“Self-belief is generally very important in football and ours has improved a lot, so it’s made a difference.
“Porto and Atletico were difficult to play against because of their defensive strengths. They set themselves up in their own halves and wait for you to make a mistake.
“For me, those were the most difficult games.”
While the clashes with Atletico and Porto represented great challenges and ones that Havertz has reflected on as being difficult, he has much fonder memories of the semi-final triumph over Real.
Havertz continued: “My favourite game would be the second leg against Real Madrid when we reached the final. That was good.
“There’s been a few good games, but for me the highlight would have to be the game against Real.”
As for the final itself, it will represent a great occasion for both clubs, with both flying the flag for English football.
But for Havertz, specifically, it will represent a childhood dream.
“It’s about giving your all in the game, having fun, and hopefully winning,” added the Chelsea star.
“Being in the tunnel, walking out, hearing the anthem, and then giving your all for over 90 minutes…it’s a childhood dream which has been reached but not yet fulfilled.
“We still need to win and we’ll do everything we can to do just that.”
Source by Football London