Published: 11 May 2012 - 08:17:03
Roberto Di Matteo has issued a rallying cry to his Chelsea players ahead of next Saturday's Champions League final, declaring: 'If you can beat Barcelona, you can beat anybody.'
The Blues are closing in on their biggest game since the 2008 final as caretaker manager Di Matteo plotted one last extraordinary triumph. Bayern Munich are odds-on favourites to lift the European Cup at their own Allianz Arena.
But Di Matteo insists Chelsea had nothing to fear, having already dumped out what some had hailed as the greatest club side of all time.
"If you manage to go through two legs against Barcelona, I think then you can beat anybody in European football," Di Matteo said at the club's Player of the Year awards.
"They're supposed to be the best team and I think we have a fantastic group of players with tremendous quality and belief. The confidence is very high. The spirit is very high."
That Chelsea stand on the brink of their greatest triumph is all the more remarkable considering they were in disarray before Di Matteo was placed in charge just over two months ago.
The Italian added: "We've enjoyed a good eight, nine weeks. The players have been fantastic with me. They've performed at the highest level possible and we've found ourselves in a great position now to win the biggest trophy in European football."
Those thoughts were echoed by midfielder Frank Lampard, who is looking to become the first man to captain Chelsea to Champions League glory.
"From the spirit we showed in Barcelona, we can do anything, and it's about making sure we can do it on the day," said the 33-year-old, whose days at Stamford Bridge looked to have been numbered under sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas.
"We've had a tough season. I've had tough moments. But we're sitting here on the verge of maybe the greatest season ever."
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