So the interim one becomes a special one. Not THE special one, but certainly A special one.
Branislav Ivanovic's header in added time earned Chelsea a rousing 2-1 win over a technically superior, but profligate Benfica in last night's breathless Europa League final. More poignantly, it ensured their temporary - and probably outgoing - head coach Rafael Benitez of a unique place in the club's folklore.
Whether or not his detractors can stomach it, the much-maligned Benitez will depart Stamford Bridge having enhanced his reputation as a man of character and coach of real substance.
Millions of neutrals were willing Chelsea to win at the Amsterdam ArenA for the sake of Benitez. There was a natural justice in all of this for a figure who has been unfairly castigated for no worthwhile reason since his appointment last November.
Benitez's stock is on the rise again. He has landed the Champions League with Liverpool (2005), the UEFA Cup running Valencia (2004) and the Europa League at Chelsea (2013).
Liverpool's Super Cup win of 2005, returning to the Champions League final two years later and snaring the 2010 World Club Cup at Inter Milan amid an array of domestic gongs in Spain, England and Italy suggests Benitez should not be overly concerned about his future employment prospects.
Benitez has succeeded in spite of Chelsea's fans rather than because of them. Lesser men would have quit in the face of such vitriol.
Some of the 12,000 or so Chelsea fans who washed up in Amsterdam were still singing about manager-in-waiting Jose Mourinho, who has yet to depart Real Madrid. And they weren't munching on the local space cakes.
A waxwork of Coronation Street's Bill "Ken Barlow" Roache was apparently removed from Madame Tussauds in Blackpool earlier this week after being attacked by members of the public with the actor facing historic rape charges.
Some Chelsea fans would probably behead a Benitez waxwork even if it was armed with old 'Big Ears'. Old habits die hard around Stamford Bridge.
One bloke asked Benitez during the pre-match press conference in Amsterdam if he would apologise to the Chelsea fans for quotes attributed to him from yesteryear at Liverpool.
One comment about Chelsea fans waving plastic flags to create an atmosphere did not seem overly offensive, but apparently continues to infuriate some punters. Benitez is not sorry.
"A manager has to defend his club, and I'm defending Chelsea now," he said. Benitez does not owe the Chelsea supporters an apology, but plenty owe him one.
"He's done alright," said one fan yesterday. "But he's just not Chelsea, is he?"
"Fat Spanish waiter, he’s just a fat Spanish waiter." So much for the chant that greeted Benitez's arrival at the club. This is no dumbwaiter.
Like most Spanish restaurants, you had to be patient before the juicy fare arrived. But it finally appeared courtesy of Ivanovic in a moment that almost tasted like a fine piece of sirloin steak. And not a minute too late.
The 'Spanish waiter' had delivered a fat European trophy as Chelsea became the first club to hold the Champions League trophy and the old UEFA Cup at the same time.
Of course, they will be relieved of the European Cup after Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund contest their final at Wembley next Saturday. But Mourinho may well be involved in a Super Cup contest as Chelsea's manager against Bayern or Dortmund in August.
Will they remember who got them there? Unlikely when many refuse to recognise Benitez now.
"I have friends who support Chelsea," commented Nigel Spackman, the former Chelsea and Rangers midfielder. "They're businessmen, sensible people, and they just have a blank when it comes to Rafa Benitez. I wish they'd change their minds, but they won't. I wish the fans would show him some respect."
Benitez's critics claim he was only hired to be some sort of babysitter for the former Liverpool forward, Spain's Fernando Torres. To ensure Russian owner Roman Abramovich's £50m pet project could usher in better times. He achieved that target last night.
Torres unearthed genuine quality, subjecting the enormous Benfica captain Luisao to some torrid moments in the second half.
He bundled him off the ball to score a fine opening goal. Luisao was fortunate not to be sent off for a wretched tackle on Torres, who would have later won a penalty later if he had gone to ground with Luisao clearing manhandling him in the Benfica penalty area.
When Ivanovic hit the rigging to render Oscar Cordozo's equaliser from a penalty spot meaningless, it was another example that chaos theory can work in football. Abramovich has gone through 10 coaches in a decade. He has revelled in 11 trophies since purchasing Chelsea after attending a Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Arsenal have stuck with one coach, and not lifted a trophy since 2005. Who needs stability? The short-term approach has hardly rendered Chelsea impotent.
Benitez is the latest to contribute his own trinket to the vast pile. Four coaches in 15 months, and Chelsea cannot stop helping themselves to the goodies. Guus Hiddink picked up the FA Cup at the fag end of the 2009 season after replacing the sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Carlo Ancelotti lasted a couple of years between 2009-2011, but won a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010.
Roberto Di Matteo was sacked after eight months in November. He picked up the FA Cup and Champions League as interim coach, but was dismissed after winning two out of eight games as permanent coach.
Avram Grant, Ray Wilkins and Andre Villas-Boas have been given short shrift by Abramovich's short-term pursuit of trophies.
Mourinho remains the most successful Chelsea coach in history with a couple of Premier Leagues, two League Cups and an FA Cup. He lasted just over three years in the job. An eternity in Roman years.
Mourinho may get the chance to bolster that collection next season. Frank Lampard's decision to sign a one-year extension is perhaps a clear indication that the 'Special One' will return.
Astonishingly enough, Chelsea will play their 70th game of the season against Everton on Sunday. They have encountered eight competitions and 12 countries. A win over Everton will secure automatic entry to next season's Champions League group stages in what would be a palatable end to a season of violent lurches.
"We know what we are, we know what we are...Europa League winners, we know what are." Perhaps not. Not as enchanting as the Champions of Europe cry, but Chelsea diehards should drink in the moment.
It may not be the Champions League or the Premier League, but the Europa League remains one of the world game's most protruding prizes. It is better than Eurovision. Or having nothing on the sideboard, like most clubs around them.
Talking of returns, Bonnie Tyler sings Believe in Me as the UK's latest Eurovision entry on Saturday. Last night Chelsea's players believed in Rafa. It showed. It is just sad some Chelsea fans will never find him agreeable.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Hopefully I’ve got a couple of years left. I owe it to United to do this — it’s a big decision to retire from England. But my body is telling me it needs to be in the right condition for my club. I want to give everything to United.” - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand explains why he is retiring from England duty after earning 81 caps.
We have more reaction from the aftermath of Chelsea's 2-1 win over Benfica in the Europa League final. Liverpool and Denmark legend Jan Molby will offer his thoughts on the latest goings on while our weekly look at life in the Bundesliga is firmly on the schedule in Pitchside Europe.