'It's crucial to put the first European Cup in the club cabinet'

 

Munich

Beating Barcelona doesn't dislodge his debut goal, his Fans' Player of the Year award or the FA Cup final win from Juan Mata's three high points of the season, but he agrees in terms of drama it was unmatchable.

"Ramires's goal gave us life," he says. "At half-time the message was that we could do it. The manager told us that we had done the hardest part, which was to score a goal at the Nou Camp with a man less. If Ramires hadn't scored when he did I don't think we would have gone through. To go in at half-time, losing 2-0 and with a man less, I think Barcelona would have grown. There's a reason why that goal was voted goal of the season by our supporters."

Mata was substituted late in the game as Chelsea looked to protect what they had. He had suffered during the match sacrificing his natural game of running with the ball to running without it, and he would suffer even more as a nervous spectator.

"I had a terrible time of it in the last 15 minutes," he says. "I was convinced that they were going to beat us. You see the chances – the penalty, a shot against the post, you see that they are getting closer and you think 'they're going to score, we're going out'. It was horrible for those of us on the bench.

"I was very nervous, alongside Gary the kit man. And then when Fernando Torres got the ball and scored, we just exploded. And when the final whistle went, I ran straight for him because he deserved it. It's a lovely feeling at the Nou Camp to see our supporters up in the top tier celebrating and happy, as the rest of the stadium empties."

And he knows how the players who played the last final in Moscow were feeling. "To have the chance to remove that thorn in the side is great. And it's not just them – the club, Roman, everyone. It's important to put the first Champions League in the trophy cabinet."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions