Between billions and traditions, the little secrets of Chelsea, Lille’s opponent in the Champions League

8:05 AM, February 21, 2022

Last Sunday in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Thomas Tuchel won the Club World Cup against Palmeiras (2-1). The third trophy in thirteen months at the helm of the German coach’s Chelsea, who was expelled from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of 2020. The West London club has now won all current competitions. Retreating in the Premier League – in third place with 13 points behind Manchester City after beating Crystal Palace (1-0) – the Blues dream of preserving the Champions League. A feat that only Real Madrid achieved (from 2016 to 2018) and surpassed Lille in the round of 16.

Heavy and local

Chelsea owns the fourth most expensive team in Europe (883 million euros, according to Transfermarkt), and the third in the English Premier League after Manchester City and Liverpool. Top rated player? Romelu Lukaku is at 100 million, which is just under his transfer amount last summer and six times more than during his first spell with the Blues (2012-2014). Besides, coaching creates fortune: Mason Mount (75) and Reece James (55), two of five English internationals at the moment.

Aside from Lukaku, Tuchel spent little. But this summer, the defense will have to be rebuilt since Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger’s contracts expired. Londoners are still taking advantage of the unlimited number of loans (23 this season), and they already have a few alternatives under the contract. Finally, true to a tradition dating back to the mid-1990s, the club is filling the workforce with three Frenchmen: N’Golo Kanté, but also Malang Sarr and Tiémoué Bakayoko (on loan to Milan).

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Abramovich took off

In 2023, it will be twenty years since Roman Abramovich took control of Chelsea. At that time, four clubs in the Premier League were owned by foreign funds. Today it is just the opposite. But the oligarch, whose fortune is estimated at 11.3 billion euros, was forced to move away after his visa has not been renewed since 2018.

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persona non grata in England, who became Israeli and then Portuguese last April; Open an investigation into the conditions for obtaining citizenship. At the heart of the Ukrainian crisis due to his close ties with the Kremlin, Abramovich may fear economic sanctions. If he has escaped thus far, “it is because of his friendship with Ivanka Trump,” according to Forbes. At Chelsea, it is the manager Marina Granovskaya who runs the affairs. Alongside her coach since 2013, she was named Best Manager in European Football by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in November.

outdated stadium

Opened in 1877 in the Fulham area, Stamford Bridge is the oldest stadium with 20 residents of the Premier League. Although renovated in the 1990s, 41,000 seats limit commercial development while its London neighbors have built entirely new arenas (Arsenal in 2006, Tottenham in 2019). In the east, West Ham captured the Olympic Stadium. His growth brought him closer to the Big Four.

In 2017, Commanders secured permission to build a new 60,000-seat container, including the roof, on the current site. Scheduled to open in March 2021, it will never open: the project was abandoned due to a context deemed “unfavorable” for massive investments. The building permit has expired. The mobilization rate (92%) allows only modest progress.

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From Damon to Belle

Noel Gallagher is disgusted after Manchester City failed the English final by 100% in May, moreover, he was booked on the exit of Damon Albarn, leader of Blore and Gorillas: “Don’t worry, my friend, you’ll win it. One day. The guitarist got revenge. The former Oasis, claiming in a podcast that his rival attended “only one fucking game per decade.” Regular photos of Albin at Stamford Bridge refute the treachery.

In the stands, the singer meets other celebrities: Chef Gordon Ramsay, Director Guy Ritchie or the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (FIA), Sebastian Coe. Actors Charlize Theron and Will Ferrell, as well as former NBA basketball player Kevin Garnett, were also seen on the court wearing blue shirts on their backs. A passion shared by former US President Bill Clinton.

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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