Roman Abramovich works backwards as world champions Chelsea try to break Man City’s domestic dominance


European champions, world champions. But that didn’t stop a former Chelsea player from sticking the boot.

Craig Burley certainly didn’t share the euphoria after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Palmeiras in the Club World Cup final.

He tweeted: “As Chelsea won that plastic cup and it lapped up like a World Cup win. Manchester City were sixteen points clear of them, in a competition that really matters. Let that sink in.

He felt unnecessarily petty under the circumstances.

It’s perfectly reasonable to celebrate a trophy that completes a full set of honors in the club’s history, while accepting there’s still a long way to go elsewhere.

Chelsea are no more the best team in the world than they were the best team in Europe after winning the Champions League. But should that make victory any less sweet?

The fact that it took them 10 years to have a chance of winning the only trophy that eluded Roman Abramovich underscores how rarely the opportunity to be crowned world champion arises. It is a competition for which it is more difficult to qualify than to win.

That they treated it seriously and celebrated accordingly is not to be laughed at.

But that also doesn’t change the fact that breaking City’s dominance in the Premier League must be their priority going forward.

Today Abramovich, who changed the face of English and European football when he bought the club in 2003, is working almost backwards.

For so long, the Champions League has been his ultimate goal, with domestic successes not enough to satisfy his appetite.

Celebrating with Thomas Tuchel in Abu Dhabi, as he did at Porto last May, he will know that Chelsea remain some distance from Pep Guardiola’s champions, who only have Liverpool in sight when they look in their rear-view mirror. .

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