Di Matteo: Chelsea are a world force

PA Sport
Roberto Di Matteo
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Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has insisted Chelsea are already a global superpower, regardless of whether they win the Champions League.

The Blues will reach their sixth semi-final in nine seasons in Europe's premier club competition if they avoid defeat against Benfica on Wednesday night, but with all-conquering Barcelona up next - never mind a potential final against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich - they have never faced a taller order.

But interim manager Di Matteo claimed their domestic trophy haul during the Roman Abramovich era qualified them to sit at Europe's top table, and said: "If you look at the last decade of this club, it's become a domestic and international force."

He added: "It's been always fighting for domestic trophies and titles, and internationally.

"It's never quite happened internationally, but I don't think that would take any shine off this club."

Midfielder Ramires agreed, saying Chelsea were spoken about in his native Brazil in the same breath as Barca or Real.

"In Brazil, when they talk about Chelsea, they do talk about them being in the same level and class as Barcelona and Real," he said.

"There may be a weight because they haven't won the Champions League so far, but that doesn't detract from the reality that it's a great club."

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