Just sum up your feelings and emotions for us
A huge experience, a huge success.
Of course we all will profit from that experience together. We will us it to stay hungry, grow and evolve from that. It is a huge step to arrive in the final, even bigger one to fight your way through and make it to the cup, a fantastic achievement and congratulations to everybody.
We knew that we needed a top level performance and we needed a strong bond today to overcome this match and to have a chance to win this match.
This is what we did, and I’m almost speechless, very, very happy to share this moment with this team, staff and support everyday in Cobham.
It’s for them, for our team manager who is at home, it’s for my parents, my family, my kids.
Kante and Rudiger were the rocks on which the result was built
I am not sure I feel very confident right now to talk about single players. The effort was huge, there were some difficult and very dangerous moments with a fantastic attitude to defending.
We had an early change with Andreas for Thiago Silva which did not make things easier but we were brave, even in moments when it was hard to escape the pressure, we needed to suffer, we were brave in the formation, constantly active and it was a relentless performance.
Of course Toni and NG were fantastic but it was a solid, solid performance.
Were you surprised by Pep’s team selection
I expected Fernandinho in the lineup to start so he chose a very offensive lineup and a very technical line up, it was very hard to steal the ball and recover the ball. Everything else we more or less expected.
We expected them to play very wide so it was important that we stepped out with Azpi and Toni constantly, out of the back five to support our midfield and to stay in that block in the front five to stop the diagonal switch of play.
We were absolutely sure we needed to play with a strong bond and belief, that is what we did. Minute after minute, we grabbed possession, second balls and initiated counter-attacks. From then on, it was a tough match to the end.
How do you treat success?
It is about the next game, honestly.
I experienced it with my first title in professional football, I was not surprised. It was a nice feeling but it did not too much to me. Even when I arrived in the first training after winning a cup with Dortmund with less hunger, desire or ambition.
Of course, now is the time to celebrate for some days, to enjoy, to let it sink in. Of course this is the time to reflect on ti for one or two weeks but then surprisingly, it does not a lot to you. I think that is good because nobody wants to rest, I don’t want to rest. I want the next process, the same level of quality and consistency and I demand to be a part of it.
This is what comes next.
Wjhat is next for this group of players?
Obviously we have a strong group, a strong bond, that can defend as a unit which is a huge part of football and have answers for questions in the game. They have a huge energy in the game and can deliver under pressure.
The level is now set from when the celebrations are over and when we have digested this experience, it is the moment to evolve and to use it, become better to learn. It is absolutely crucial. We have young players, now it is a big challenge to stay hungry and go for the next one.
Have you spoken to Roman Abramovich and did you discuss a new contract?
I’m not even 100 per cent sure but maybe I have a new contract now with that win! My manager said something about that but I don’t know so lets see.
I spoke to the owner right now on the pitch, it was the best moment for a first meeting, or the worst because form now on it can only get worse.
We will speak tomorrow, we will speak later. I am looking forward to this. I can assure him that I will stay hungry. That I want the next title. That I feel absolutely happy as a part of a really ambitious club, a strong group that suits my beliefs, my passion about football in the moment perfectly, so my desire is to go for more victories.
My desire is to grow as a coach and my desire is to push the group from the first day of the next season. This is what I am all about so it would be nice to meet him a bit closer. We are in contact, but not personally. We are in constant contact and he knows what’s going on from me indirectly and now it is nice to meet him.