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Cech has high hopes for Chelsea's second European trophy

Updated 15 May 2013 06:47:16

Cech has high hopes for Chelsea's second European trophy

Petr Cech hopes a second successive tumultuous season can finish with a European trophy as Chelsea bid for victory over Benfica in the Europa League final in Amsterdam.

Four years after losing the Champions League final, the Blues last season won the trophy owner Roman Abramovich coveted most. A year on, after crashing out of the Champions League before Christmas - a result which saw Roberto Di Matteo replaced by Rafael Benitez - Chelsea have a chance to redeem themselves by winning the second-tier continental competition.

"So far it's the highlight of my career because it was the Champions League final and with all the success I've had with the club, it was special having lost the final in 2008," the 30-year-old goalkeeper said. "Sometimes you don't get a second chance. We got a second chance and we took it."

He added: "It was a fantastic story and that's why it ended the way it ended. It was just meant to be like that.

"Winning back-to-back European trophies, it would be a great story too, with more or less the same circumstances, having to change the manager during the course of the season again. Hopefully it will be the same end."

A third-placed finish in Champions League Group E behind Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk resulted in Chelsea's elimination but they seized their second chance after falling into the Europa League, with wins over one of Cech's former clubs, Sparta Prague, as well as Steaua Bucharest, Rubin Kazan and Basle.

"We were very disappointed with our campaign in the Champions League," Cech said. "We said the best way to forget about it was to have a go and try to go as far as possible in the Europa League.

"This club had never won it, because it's the first time we've played in the competition (since it has been rebranded the Europa League). It would be great to add that trophy to the trophy room."

Playing for a club of Chelsea's status, Cech hopes Wednesday's match will be his last in the Europa League.

The Blues' 68th fixture of the campaign will almost certainly be the penultimate competitive game for Benitez, who was an unpopular appointment among fans due to his prior association with Liverpool.


PA

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