The mesmerizing sound of whistle before kick off, the three claps, the environment inside is so electric. That amazing sight when players come out of tunnel, and that roar when we attack and that huss when opponent attack.
Growing up in Nepal, I used to see people wearing jerseys of Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Manchester United, and Liverpool . I did not have access to the cable channels until early 2000s but I started knowing about football through news and Kantipur daily which I would always start reading from the last page. At that time Manchester United as a club was a dominant force and for some reason even I don’t know, I didn’t like them from the very beginning. I wanted a club to challenge them, and then came Chelsea and Mourinho. Although I started following Chelsea since 2002/2003 season but 2005/2006 season was when I started watching live games. The first game I watched was a London Derby against Arsenal and Drogba scored the only goal of the game.
There are many favorite games but to name a few, Chelsea vs Bolton Wanderers 2-0 (Terry and Lampard) and winning back to back Premier League, Chelsea vs Napoli second leg when we were 3-1 down in first leg and AVB was sacked and Di Matteo was appointed and we won the game 4-1. All our old guards had scored, Drogba scored first and Terry with a header for the second. Inler responded with an away goal and then Lampard with his penalty and we were in extra time. And then Ivanovic did his job in the extra time; what a game to watch. Although we went to win the Champions League that season and we beat Bayern Munich in their own backyard, creating the biggest night in Chelsea history; but that game against Napoli is still fresh in my head. Another one in the list is Chelsea vs Birmingham city in FA cup, because of a personal reason, because I was in the stand in Stamford Bridge.
In 2008, I went to London for my further studies and the first thing I did was I went to visit Stamford Bridge. I felt so heavenly there, its a dream come true for any Chelsea fan.
The nearest underground station is Fulham Broadway on the District Line. On exiting the station, you turn left and walk along Fulham Road for approximately 400 metres. Chelsea Football Club is located on the left hand side. There is a monument with the words Stamford Bridge and you walk inside to the Chelsea store, museum and spots to take photos and then comes a security barrier for tickets. And you walk through the stadium. The basement is full of beer bars though you’re not allowed to drink in the stands. And finally off to the stadium full of blue army.
The mesmerizing sound of whistle before kick off, the three claps, the environment inside is so electric. That amazing sight when players come out of tunnel, and that roar when we attack and that huss when opponent attack. You need to feel it yourself, very hard to put it in words.
My favourite Chelsea player? Firstly Hernan Crespo, though I used to like him even before Chelsea. I am a big fan of Drogba ( Terry, Lampard , Cole and Peter Cech ): and now Hazard and Willian.
The 2005 Champions League semi final against Liverpool and that ghost goal from Garcia was my first sad moment as a Chelsea fan. 2008 Champions League final against Manchester United and Terry slipping in Moscow, that too against Manchester United, was my worst moment as a Chelsea fan. The 2009 Champions League semi finals against Barcelona, also goes to the list.. Even now when I watch highlights I still feel uncomfortable about the daylight re robbery against us. 2015/16 season when we finished tenth in league has also been added to this list of sad experiences.
I was relatively late to join Chelsea Nepal but I thoroughly enjoy this group. But its sad to see a new generation of fans who sees player stats over,hard work in the fields, who prioritise individual glories over passion. I wish everyone knew what comes first.
Keep the blue flag flying higher!!!