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Chelsea FC

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Current English champion Claudio Ranieri will be back tomorrow to Stamford Bridge with Leicester City, in the stadium where he started his Premier League adventure sixteen years ago and where he stayed four years, until José Mourinho came in his first spell in 2004.

The Italian manager admitted that it will be an emotional return for him:

“I don’t know how I will feel. I saw some of the Chelsea supporters with placards saying ‘Do it for Claudio’ and I would like to thank them all personally for that.

“I have been back to Stamford Bridge with Juventus in the Champions League, but this will be different.

“When I left Chelsea the players gave me a guard of honour. It was one of the greatest moments of my sporting life.

Speaking about his incredible triumph with the Foxes he said:

“It’s impossible for me to reflect on everything right now because it’s too fresh. I need time to put it all into perspective.

“But it just shows that if you believe in yourself, then sooner or later it will come to you.”

“It hasn’t changed my mind about me but maybe it has changed other people’s.

“I knew very well what I had achieved but it’s not important for me to be given credit or not.”

Ranieri also said that he is sorry John Terry is suspended, because he would have loved to see him on the pitch:

“That’s sad because he is like a son to me,” he said.

“I wanted him to be out there on the pitch.”

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Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic spoke about his experience at the Blues with the Daily Mirror and, most of all, he spoke about the upcoming season, with a new manager and new expectations:

Conte seems like a good man – he is one of the world’s best. He spoke in English. The chat we had was good English.“

“With the club and everything going forward it is a big summer. We need to recharge for next season.

“We have goalkeeper Marco Amelia at Chelsea, who knows Conte. He says he is a hard worker with discipline and structure.

Begovic also spoke about next year targets:

“The Champions League is very important. That’s one of the reasons I came here.

“I came here to help be part of a successful team and win trophies. That’s what I want to do and we will see.

“I’m not thinking about moving on. When the new manager comes, I hope decisions will be made and we can go from there.”

“What the options are and what will happen, I don’t know. My goal is to be playing at Chelsea and to help contribute.

“I’d love to stay, but sometimes the decision is out of your hands. It’s been a good first year, I reached a new level.

“I wanted to play for a really big club and have to cope with the expectation. You learn a lot right away.

“Christophe Lollichon was one of the reasons I wanted to come here from his reputation and what he has done before.

“I was very happy at Stoke and it would have been an easy option to stay there but I wanted the challenge

“Those things alone have made the decision I made to move to Chelsea worthwhile and worth taking on.“

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Guus Hiddink got a nice tribute for his time at Chelsea, both in first and second spell.

A video was shown during the Player of the Year award gala with images from the triumph in the FA Cup in 2009, and then images of his second spell in these last few months were running too.

After that, first team assistant Steve Holland walked up the stage with a set of golf clubs that the Dutch manager can use in his spare time, being a golf lover.

But the biggest surprise was a Chelsea Vespa, that the club gave to him since Guus is a motorbikes’ fan, owing also a Harley Davidson.

Hiddink seemed very pleased by the presents, but as he stated more times during the last weeks his farewell to Chelsea won’t be definitive, as he will continue to work with the club as an external advisor for the development of young players.

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Also Frank Lampard sent a message to his friend and ex team-mate John Terry, who might leave Chelsea at the end of this season.

The Blues all time top scorer said he was sorry not to present tonight, but he was stuck in the USA for duties with his new team New York City FC:

“John Terry is the greatest Premier League defender, beyond a doubt,” Lampard started.

“Thank you John for being able to play alongside you. We as Chelsea people want him to stay involved with the club.

“Thank you Chelsea fans for continuing to support the club and me. The club will be back and challenging again very soon,” he concluded.

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A well deserved prize for Willian that won the Player of the Year award.

The winger was one of the few players to always stand out on the pitch in this disappointing season for Chelsea, even at the first hard months.

He scored 11 goals, with 6- wonderful- free kicks.

The Brazilian said: “This season was to forget, but I guess I made a great campaign and I hope to bring more titles to the fans next year.”

 

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Willian was voted Players’ Player of the Year by his team-mate.

The announcement was made with a funny video with Eden Hazard, that won last year, as the protagonist.

The Brazilian was one of the few players to impress in this unlucky season for Chelsea, especially in the first part of the campaign.

He scored 11 goals, including 6 free-kicks.

Player of the Year to be revealed soon!

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek celebrates his first goal with Chesea first team © Francesca Ceciarini

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was elected the Young Player of the Year at the Chelsea annual gala.

He made 16 appearances this season, scoring two goals.

Now we wait for the Player of the Year to be announced.

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Despite him being one of the best performers on the pitch, especially in the first terrible half of the season, Willian claims that this is a season to forget for Chelsea and him, with no silverware just one year after being crowned English champions and not even qualified for any European competition next year:

“All I want is to forget about this season. It hasn’t been easy for us. We didn’t start well and ended up paying the price.

“We tried to put things right but we weren’t able to and we’re already thinking about the next season

“Mourinho isn’t the only one to blame for this. I heard some talk about our atmosphere but every coach has a different way.”

“Mourinho wasn’t the main person responsible for our bad start considering we had come from an amazing season with him

“When the results don’t come, everyone is responsible. We would never leave Mourinho with everyone pointing fingers at him.”

On Leicester winning the league he said: “”It shows that money alone doesn’t win games. It was obviously a surprise for most people but they deserved it.”

On Spurs‘ campaign: “We always want to win. We weren’t worried about who would lift the title. The derby is very important to us.“

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