Chelsea craving European glory
John Terry is desperate to lead Chelsea to Champions League glory at last, and the Blues kick off this season's quest at home to Rosenborg on Tuesday.Updated: Sep 17, 2007 18:40 IST
John Terry is desperate to lead Chelsea to Champions League glory at last, and the Blues kick off this season's quest at home to Rosenborg on Tuesday.
Chelsea have been knocked out at the semi-final stage in three of the last four seasons and England and Blues captain Terry insists they are fixed on going all the way this time.
Norwegian champions Rosenborg are the first team in their way in Tuesday's Group B match at Stamford Bridge.
"We're so desperate to win it as a group," centre-half Terry said of the Chelsea players.
"It doesn't really come from me. It comes from the players within and that will to win comes from inside.
"We're born winners here and that's going to keep up going over the next few years, because we're desperate to win it, and it really sets the tone," Terry said on the forthcoming Blue Revolution documentary DVD.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who guided Portuguese side Porto to the 2004 Champions League title, said the time had come for the big-spending Blues to reach the final.
"Chelsea have been in three semi-finals in four years: it shows where the club is and shows that the club needs to make the last step to be in the Champions League final. Having won every competition in English football they want to make that step," he told the uefa.com magazine.
"I feel Chelsea at the beginning of the season is a strong team. Trying and aiming to win every competition but being realistic, which means understanding that you can't win everything in modern football.
"It is very, very, very difficult to do it. And especially in the Champions League when you get into the knockout phase. What makes the difference are little details," he added.
Chelsea are fifth in the English Premier League, Saturday's goalless draw at home to Blackburn Rovers leaving them two points behind leaders Arsenal.
The Blues were without strikers Didier Drogba and Claudio Pizarro, meaning Andriy Shevchenko got his first start of the season.
Ivory Coast hitman Drogba is struggling to shake off a knee injury in time to face the Norwegian champions, while England midfielder Frank Lampard, another key source of goals, could be fit enough to feature.
Pizarro should have recovered from his gruelling journey back from playing for Peru in time for Tuesday.
Rosenborg, without key midfielder Roar Strand, are not expected to cause Chelsea too much trouble. Former Tottenham striker Steffen Iversen and ex-Liverpool defender Bjorn Tore Kvarme are among their other more experienced players.
The Troillongan, fifth in the Norwegian league, overcame Kazakh champions FC Astana and then Finnish title-holders Tampere to qualify for their 11th Champions League campaign.
The Trondheim club's Canada goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, who used to play for Tottenham, said manager Knut Torum's team were bracing for their trip to west London.
"A little bit daunting, but that's what you're there for," Hirschfeld told the Canadian Press.
"You go there (to the Champions League) for the biggest games possible.
"You go to just hopefully upset somebody. Anything can happen, but we have no expectations. We're just going there to have some fun and whatever happens happens."
Chelsea, last season's Premier League runners up, have never faced Norwegian opposition in the Champions League.
And Rosenborg face a daunting task: Chelsea have conceded in only three of their last 11 Champions League home games.
In Group B's other game Tuesday, Germany's Schalke host Spain's Valencia.
"It is a dangerous group. Chelsea are first seeds, Valencia second -- two teams involved in the quarter-finals last season, we met each other," Mourinho said.
"Schalke were contenders for the Bundesliga until the final week, they have a strong team. I know that when they play at home, their magnificent stadium is like a fortress.
"And Rosenborg are a typical Norwegian team, no big responsibilities because they are outsiders but I think they are also not an easy team."
First Published: Sep 17, 2007 18:30 IST