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Semi-finalist profile: Chelsea

With a crop of players who have already sampled first-team action, Chelsea FC are hoping to add European silverware to their haul of recent domestic youth successes.

Dominic Solanke is the competition's joint-top scorer
Dominic Solanke is the competition's joint-top scorer ©Getty Images

It is an exciting time to be a Chelsea FC supporter. Not only are the senior team winning trophies, but the future looks bright as well, with the academy sides amassing silverware of their own. Having lifted the FA Youth Cup and Under-21 Premier League title last season, the players set to arrive in Nyon are already accustomed to victory, and the UEFA Youth League crown would confirm on the European stage their excellent progress at home.

Of course, the real measure of an academy's success is providing players for the senior squad, and here too giant strides are being made. Forwards Dominic Solanke – this competition's joint-leading scorer with nine goals – and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have both taken the step up from the UEFA Youth League to the UEFA Champions League this term. Danish holding midfielder Andreas Christensen has also made his first-team debut.

Watch Chelsea overcome Atlético
Watch Chelsea overcome Atlético

In recent years Chelsea's focus at academy level has been on nurturing local talent and that policy is now bearing fruit: eight of the starting XI that defeated Club Atlético de Madrid in their quarter-final were English – and six were born within 50 miles of their Cobham training complex.

"This has been a very positive year for the academy," coach Adi Viveash said. "Mr Mourinho has had most of this team either training with him, in the squad, on the bench or actually making appearances. We now have four players who train every day with José [in the first team] and that is a massive step up; last year there were none."

UEFA Youth League captain and left-winger Isaiah Brown was drafted into Chelsea's senior fold in February. He and Solanke were both key members of the England side that won the UEFA European U17 Championship last summer – signs perhaps that Chelsea's gain will also be England's.

Number
25: Chelsea's goal difference up to the semi-finals.

©Getty Images

Coach
Name: Adi Viveash
Date of birth: 30/09/1969
A centre-back in a playing career spanning 18 years, Viveash joined Chelsea as U18 coach in 2011 and moved up to the U21 and UEFA Youth League teams this season, working closely with Mourinho to help his players bridge the gap to the seniors. "[In the UEFA Youth League] the players test themselves against different styles and class of opposition. That's great for their learning."

Acadamy spotlight
Club captain and academy graduate John Terry was among the spectators watching Chelsea's last-eight victory over Atlético and he shows the way for the youngsters to follow. The impressive new academy facilities in Cobham signal Chelsea's intent.

Chelsea captain Isaiah Brown
Chelsea captain Isaiah Brown©Chelsea FC

Route to semi-finals
Group stage
Chelsea 4-1 Schalke
Sporting 0-5 Chelsea
Chelsea 2-0 Maribor
Maribor 0-7 Chelsea
Schalke 2-0 Chelsea
Chelsea 6-0 Sporting

Round of 16
Chelsea 3-1 Zenit

Quarter-final 
Chelsea 2-0 Atlético