Monday, May 21, 2012


European champions Chelsea were greeted by tens of thousands of supporters as they paraded the Champions League and FA Cup trophies on the streets of west London.

John Terry led the chanting from top of the blue open-top bus and Didier Drogba blew kisses to the fans below, all of whom will pray the out-of-contract striker was not bidding them farewell.

It was Drogba's header which took last night's Champions League final against Bayern Munich into extra time, his ninth goal in nine finals for Chelsea.

And it was Drogba's cool penalty in the shoot-out which clinched Chelsea their historic triumph.

Fittingly for the new kings of Europe, the victory parade which began at Stamford Bridge ended on the New Kings Road.

Chelsea fans threw celery - a long-time club tradition - clambered up lamp-posts and hauled themselves on top of bus stops to get a better look at their heroes.

The supporters, waving souvenir flags and some wearing Roberto di Matteo masks, echoed the thoughts of former player Gianfranco Zola in urging Drogba to stay on at Stamford Bridge.

'We love you and we want you to stay forever,' read one sign.

Terry was suspended for the final following his red card against Barcelona but he controversially lifted the trophy in Munich and was at the heart of celebrations today.

When a microphone was passed to the players, Terry led the crowd in a rendition of: 'Championes, championes, ole, ole, ole'.

As the bus reached Parson's Green, Terry and Frank Lampard linked arms and bounced as the crowd sang.

Some of the players were in their blue Chelsea kits, others in black tracksuits. Petr Cech even had his scrum-cap up on the top deck.

The bus was decked out in blue with 'Champions Of Europe' written on the front.

One fan was spotted in a Leinster rugby shirt, celebrating his own side's European triumph after their Heineken Cup victory over Ulster earlier on Saturday.

But this was Chelsea's day. A day that club owner Roman Abramovich had invested nearly £2billion, and been through eight managers, to deliver.

In the end it was the interim boss Di Matteo who made the difference.

The Italian transformed a Chelsea side that had been struggling in the Barclays Premier League into an outfit who simply refused to be beaten.

After delivering the FA Cup and Champions League, Di Matteo is now in the frame for permanent position

Over an hour after the official parade had finished, Chelsea supporters were still congregated outside the White Horse pub in Parsons Green singing: "There's only one Di Matteo".


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