Chelsea old boy Dan Petrescu was
a picture of despair when the club he adores lost the 2008
Champions League final and he is desperate for them to win the
trophy for the first time against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
"I am delighted to see them in the final," Petrescu, now
coach of Russian top-flight club Kuban Krasnodar, told Reuters
in an interview.
"I hope they win it this time because they deserve to," said
Petrescu in a reference to Chelsea's record of reaching five
Champions League semi-finals since 2004.
"I went to the final against Manchester United in Moscow in
2008 and I really want them to put that right this time. That
was a very big disappointment for everyone at the club and also
for me because I was there watching in the stands."
The former Romania wing-back was the first overseas player
to make 100 appearances for Chelsea.
Petrescu helped the Londoners to win the 1997 FA Cup and the
1998 League Cup and was sent off in their 1998 European Cup
Winners' Cup final victory over another German team, VfB
The 44-year-old is enjoying his time in Russian football but
said he would jump at the chance to return to Stamford Bridge.
"My daughter's name is Chelsea and I had the best time of my
career at that club," said Petrescu. "I'll always love the club
"All the ex-Chelsea players who have become coaches would
love to lead the club one day. I haven't yet had the chance to
coach in England but it's my dream to go back to Stamford
"I've had offers from other clubs in the past but for me
there's only one team in London - that's Chelsea. I can't
imagine working for another London club."
Petrescu, who played for Steaua Bucharest in their 1989
European Cup final defeat by AC Milan, and interim coach Roberto
Di Matteo talk on the phone every two to three days and he said
his friend and former team mate had one simple task to perform
"Robbie must pick a winning team," the Romanian said with a
chuckle. "I think it's a 50-50 game and I would never try to
tell him what to do because he knows his players better than me.
"Both teams have several suspensions but Chelsea have a big
squad and Robbie can't turn around if they lose and say we were
beaten because we had lots of players missing.
"He must be positive and try to find the best solution. All
the Chelsea players are good, that's for sure, and it doesn't
really matter who plays."
Petrescu, who featured in Romania's quarter-final defeat by
Sweden in the 1994 World Cup, said he was held in high regard in
"I'm in a very good situation right now, all the big clubs
in Russia want me," he explained.
"The club where I am now want to give me a seven-year
contract but if a big team from England, especially Chelsea,
were interested then I'd come back straight away."
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