Chelsea FC's debutant goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was "elated" at fulfilling a lifelong dream as they topped Group E by beating FC Steaua Bucureşti, already thinking of next year.
Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer reflected on an emotional evening after he tasted UEFA Champions League football for the first time at the age of 41, helping Chelsea FC to a 1-0 win over FC Steaua Bucureşti that secured first place in Group E.
The London club will fear no one in the knockout rounds according to midfielder Willian. Łukasz Szukała and Steaua, bottom of the section, have already turned their attention to improving their domestic form and giving themselves a chance of returning to next season's competition.
Willian, Chelsea midfielder
The team played well and created a lot of chances. If we had taken them the margin of victory would have been greater. The important thing was to win and achieve our goal of finishing top of the group.
José Mourinho told us it was important to win the group, but Chelsea should not be afraid of anyone. Of course you have to respect the other sides left in the competition, but we will take on whichever team we're drawn against.
I'm very happy to be able to play with my Brazilian team-mates. They have made me feel very welcome here. It's a pleasure to be by their side on the field.
Mark Schwarzer, Chelsea goalkeeper
It was a huge game for me and I am grateful to the manager for giving me the opportunity to fulfil a lifetime's ambition by playing in the Champions League.
My wife always says I'm unemotional but I was elated afterwards to have taken part.
It was a good game to play in. We had to be on our toes and be conscious of their counterattacking ability. We didn't capitalise on the opportunities we had and that meant we had to be 100% focused at the other end.
It was important for us to finish top of the group and now we've got to make the most of it. Monday's draw is extremely exciting. I've always watched from afar with these things and I feel very privileged to be involved this time. I'm loving the journey thus far and really enjoying the expectation of winning every single game. I want to win trophies – that's why I came to Chelsea.
Łukasz Szukała, Steaua defender
We gained some more experience tonight. Yes, it was another loss but it was an OK game from our point of view. We hope to qualify again for next year's competition and hopefully we'll get better results if we do.
After Chelsea scored we had a very good chance to equalise but unfortunately we didn't take it. Against a team like Chelsea if you want to win the game or get a point you have to take these opportunities.
Chelsea were the best team in the group and deserved to finish top. The only thing we were surprised about was their two defeats to FC Basel. The first match was maybe one of those things but for them to lose a second time was a surprise.
We are not on a good run at home and have had a sequence of draws. We have three games left before the winter break; hopefully we can win them, regain our position on top of the league and then win the title again.