The Blues and the Pensioners — both are names attributed to the London-based football club, because of obviously the color and the traditional name.
The club is easily one of the best teams in the world, brushing shoulders with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid. In the current season of 2008-2009, Chelsea is highly regarded by football experts as top contenders not only in the top flight football league in England, the Barclay’s Premiere League but also in Europe’s most prestigious competition, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League.
With all trophies except for the Carling Cup still available, it seems that they are on the right track in winning at least one major trophy. Hence, Chelsea is one of the top teams in Europe because of its talent-laden squad from all around the world.
World Class Players
Chelsea is arguably the most talented football club in the world. Most of the club’s first team players are also in their respective countries’ national team. For example, Petr Cech, the club’s goal keeper, earned the right to wear the number 1 kit for both his club and his homeland, Czech Republic. He has helped Chelsea win back to back Premiership titles in the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. (chelseafc.com) He has also helped Czech Republic in their World Cup and Euro campaigns, leading the team to pass their qualifying rounds. With his tall frame at 6 ft 5 inches and his good form, he is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world—a class belonging to Iker Cassilas of Spain and Gianluigi Buffon of Italy.
Chelsea is also the home of England’s finest players—Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, and John Terry are key players for England’s manager Fabio Capello. If Shaun Wright-Philips and Wayne Bridge had not left the club, six players on the England side would have been from Chelsea. Of all these English players, Frank Lampard is the best in the business of commanding the midfield. At 30 years old, he is playing like he was 25.
He holds the English Premiere League record for having the most number of consecutive games (164). During the 2004-2005 season, only Thiery Henry was able to beat Frank Lampard in the individual awards of the Premiership in the same season.(chelseafc.com) He has been a regular on the Three Lions’ (England) squad, with regular caps on their Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006 campaign.
He raised the bar in midfield scoring by touching net numerous times. Currently, only Ronaldo, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world player of the year from Manchester United, is better than Frank Lampard in the league. Lampard, along with John Terry, captains the club.
John Terry, otherwise known as “Mr. Chelsea,” is the captain of not only Chelsea but also of the English Squad. Among the active central defenders in the world, he is on the top of the list. Ashley Cole, on the other hand, is the very definition of an attacking defender.
He has earned numerous caps as an England international and has sealed his position in the left back of the club. He does not score that often, but his threat on goal frees up space in the pitch. His most successful stint as an English player was during the Euro 2004 campaign where he was named as one of the all-star squad for the competition. (chelseafc.com). The other Cole, Joe Cole, is also a midfield player known for his pace and creativity.
Joe Cole is the perennial wing man for both the club and country. It does not matter if he is on the left or the right; he is effective on either side. Last season, he has scored a total of 10 goals in all competitions in 45 appearances — more appearances than anyone in the club. (chelseafc.com). His presence at the England side is also constant as he has been capped regularly for the Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006.
Portugal has the most number of internationals in the club who have proven their worth for previous clubs and country. Ricardo Carvalho, together with John Terry, is the most formidable partnership in defense in club football.
The quintet of Carvalho, Bosingwa, Deco, Hilario, and recently signed on-loan Quaresma fills all positions in the pitch, with Paulo Fereira to spare. Only Hilario from the group does not have much international experience to boot. Nevertheless, he has proven his goal-saving prowess during the Champions League run last season where he stepped up during the absence of Cech and Cudicini. Deco, meanwhile, despite appearing mostly as a sub later this season, has done it all with Barcelona.