Blow to Chelsea ahead of Juventus test as Kante ruled out
Blow to Chelsea ahead of Juventus test as Kante ruled out

Between the end of the group stage and the start of the knockout rounds this season, Thomas Tuchel took over as Chelsea’s head coach, leading the club past Atletico Madrid and Porto to the last four.

In an interview, he said:

‘We deserve to be in the semi-finals, like Real Madrid deserve to be in the semi-finals,’ he said. ‘We deserve it because we came a long way. I had the luck to be part of it since the start of the knockout phase and all the teams in the semi-finals have come a long way. They fought their way through in the toughest competition in Europe.

‘Right now we deserve through the competition to be here, and that’s why we are full of confidence and looking forward to playing these matches at the highest level. This is what we all dream about.

‘I’m a pretty lucky man, I know this and I’m very grateful and thankful for all the luck that I’ve had and all the people at my side who pushed me, who believed in me and gave me all the experience that I had and that made me into the coach that I am today.

‘When I started in academy football, every day was a gift and I enjoyed every day with my Under-14s in Stuttgart. Later it was the Under-15s and then it became the Under-19s and then it was the step to only be the coach of Mainz, being full-time in charge and not needing to work any other job. I could never imagine that someone in the Bundesliga would have the guts and the courage to let me coach a first division team, because that was very unusual without me having played a game at the very highest level.

Tuchel: We deserve to be in the Champions League semi-finals
Image Credit: Football365

‘So I’m grateful, but on the other hand it always felt very natural and right to be in that place. Not because I felt I deserved it, but just because it came naturally to me and I’m very grateful to all the people that helped me, of course first of all my family, and then everybody around me in coaching, in the academies and on my way through professional football.’

Tuchel also confessed that he had no idea his career would take him so far in the beginning, not just because these heights seemed so far away, but also because he spent so much time at work thinking about the next match that he had no time to dream.

Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea fear no one in Champions League

‘Honestly, I have every week a lot of doubts about what we do, how we play and whether we can keep the momentum going, so I’ve never had thoughts about where I could end up. Like I said, I’m very grateful for having the possibility to experience this high level and to arrive tonight with such a great club and a great team in the semi-finals of the Champions League again.

‘It’s the second time I’ve been here but I’m far from taking it for granted and far from thinking this is where I belong and this is what I deserve. I’m a lucky man and I’m very happy to be here, but it’s an obligation at the same time, to give my very best and be fully focused on tonight.’

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