Chelsea FC goalkeeper Petr Čech believes the chance to make history will spur his side on when they face SL Benfica in the final of the UEFA Europa League. The London club eased to a 5-2 aggregate win against FC Basel 1893 last week to reach their second continental final in as many years – and earn the opportunity to seal a notable double on Wednesday 15 May.
"We could become the first team to win the Champions League and Europa League back to back [in that order, in the UEFA Champions League era]," said the Czech international. "That would be a great achievement and would give us another European trophy to put in the trophy room at Stamford Bridge. It would be something to be proud of."
Victory at the Amsterdam ArenA would also make Chelsea the fourth side to win all three of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, following in the footsteps of Juventus, AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München.
Yet it is the chance to compete for more silverware that will provide Čech with added motivation against Benfica, the 30-year-old keen to make amends for Chelsea's 4-1 UEFA Super Cup defeat by Club Atlético de Madrid in August. "If we win the Europa League we can play in the Super Cup again. We got it terribly wrong last year, so this is another aim."
Čech, who has featured in every European game for the Blues this season, acknowledged certain differences between the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Champions League but reiterated that Chelsea will be playing to win in Amsterdam.
"You can feel it's slightly different. You don't have the Champions League anthem before kick-off, which is a bit strange," he said. "You play on Thursday and you play on the weekend, so it's a slightly different rhythm. But you still have stadiums full of people and you get to play big games, so we treat it with respect. We’ve come far and we would like to go all the way."
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