Thomas Tuchel hopes Champions League win will earn him a new Chelsea contract
Thomas Tuchel hopes to tie up a new Chelsea contract after steering the Blues to the Champions League title in just 124 days at the helm.
Tuchel revealed he enjoyed the “best moment” to meet owner Roman Abramovich for the first time – on the Estadio do Dragao pitch after Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in Porto.
The 47-year-old German coach signed an 18-month contract to become Chelsea boss on January 26, and has overseen a remarkable transformation of a squad packed with talent but that had hit a low ebb under Frank Lampard.
Now the former Paris St Germain manager hopes to extend his Stamford Bridge terms – and admitted he will “demand” to be a part of driving Chelsea onwards.
Asked whether he will be able to wrap up a new deal, Tuchel replied: “I’m not even 100 per cent sure, but maybe I have a new contract now.
“So let’s check this first. I spoke to the owner right now on the pitch, this was the best moment for a first meeting.
“Or the worst, because from now on it can only get worse!
“We will speak tomorrow, speak later, speak tomorrow, and looking forward to this.
“I can assure him that I will stay hungry, that I want the next title and I feel absolutely happy, as a part of a really ambitious club, a strong part of a strong group. That suits my belief and my passion about football in the moment perfectly.
“So my desire is to go for more victories, to grow as a coach and to push the group on the first day of the next season to the limit.
“We have work to do to close the gap, and this is what I’m all about. And so it will be nice to meet him a bit closer.
“We are in contact but not personal, he knows what’s going on from me directly. But now it’s nice to meet him.”
Kai Havertz’s stunning finish floored Pep Guardiola’s City side that had stepped into the Portugal contest as favourites.
The domestic double winners fluffed their lines though, as Mason Mount laid on a sublime through-ball assist for Havertz’s ice-cold finish.
Chelsea lifted their second Champions League title, to sit alongside the Munich win of 2012, with Tuchel cementing his place as one of the continent’s top managerial talents.
Rather than dwell on this triumph however, Tuchel insisted he will quickly be back to work plotting how to create a new era of Chelsea dominance.
Asked how he would celebrate, Tuchel replied: “Well it’s about the next one, honestly. I experienced it on a lower level, with my first title in pro football.
“I was not surprised but it was even a nice feeling that it did not do too much to me. I did not arrive at the next training with less hunger or ambition.
“Of course now is the time to celebrate for some days, enjoy and to let it sink in. Of course this is the time now for one or two weeks and to talk about it and reflect on it. But then it does surprisingly not a lot to you.
“And I think that’s good, because nobody wants to rest, I want the next one, the next title, the next process.
“I want to be a part of it and I demand to be a part of it. And this is what comes next, make no mistake about it.”
Tuchel conceded he had few words to sum up accurately the feeling of becoming champions of Europe, but reiterated his desire not to let success breed complacency.
“It’s a huge experience, a huge success, and of course we all will profit from that experience together,” said Tuchel.
“We will use it to stay hungry, grow and evolve from that. It was a huge step to arrive in the final, and then even bigger one to fight your way through and make it to the cup.
“We knew that we needed a top-level performance and we needed a strong bond today to overcome this match and to have a chance to win this match.
“This is what we did, and I’m almost speechless, very, very happy to share this moment with this team, staff and support everyday basis in Cobham.
“It’s for them, for our team manager who is at home, it’s for my parents, my family, my kids. And it’s fantastic to share that.”
A deflated Pep Guardiola defended selecting Ilkay Gundogan as a holding midfielder, despite the switch causing his side clear problems.
He said: “I did my best in the selection. I made the best selection to win the game, the players know it.
“I think Gundogan played well. We missed a little in the first half to break the lines, but in the second half it was much better. It was a tight game but we had enormous chances.
“I would like to say it was an exceptional, exceptional season for us. It is a big dream being here, but unfortunately we couldn’t win. We tried, we could not do it, and we will work to come back one day.”
Kevin De Bruyne trudged off with a painful-looking facial injury after clattering into Toni Rudiger, but Guardiola downplayed the severity of the issue.
“I don’t know about the pain he has in his face, I didn’t see him or speak to the doctor,” said Guardiola.
“But hopefully, hopefully it will not be a big problem.”