Yes, I did spend several not-so-valuable minutes of my life making this.
I was drunk when I read Duckie Kostka's post regarding RAW, and mistook it for a post appreciating the Romans for giving us lots of historical tidbits and various trivia Graham can belittle us by mentioning in a conversation. Just when I was about to go on about the various deeds and misdeeds of Julius Caesar, the Italian version* of the Brazilian 'keeper, my drunked-ness subsided and I quickly backspaced my work. Doesn't the "Appreciate The Maverick" in the title tell you I'm being honest.
*Why don't the Italians have anything real? They have a pirated version of Julio Cesar, a malfunctioning version of Tim Palmer and so on.
Now that I'm sober, I shall begin writing the actual RAW article. Like all good narrations, let this begin with a memory tour.
3rd APRIL 2012 :
We were superior in many things to Chelsea, but they were luckier in one moment. We had more opportunities. We didn't deserve to lose tonight. We were the better side for long periods, had more shots on goal and Chelsea didn't see much sight of our goal. But what counts is the result.
The game in Lisbon left a sour taste in the mouth because Chelsea did not deserve to win and it proved that the team who plays better does not always win. I do not know if the Chelsea coach reserved players in the first leg, but the truth is that we were the better team and 1-0 was a misleading result after what we saw on the field of play.
Meanwhile, in an underwater yacht* in Russia...
*I swear it's an underwater yacht and not a submarine, 'cause Roman has swag and subs are way too mainstream.
20 APRIL 2012 :
The result is unjust but we knew that Chelsea are a team that take advantage of their opportunities. We were off target in front of goal but we still have the return leg at home.
Barcelona were the only team who wanted to play, and yet the reward is for Chelsea, even though it seems like they came for a draw. At least we know we're superior because we showed that on the pitch
It's not as if this is a terrible result but the problem is that we deserved much more from our performance. We should have scored at least one goal because we were the ones who went for the victory, we were the team who tried to play football from start to finish. ... Barca put on a show which our fans enjoyed and the only missing elements were the goals and victory which we deserved.
While the whole of Spain licks it wounds and Stamford the Lion's balls, a mini-party is yet again being hosted in the same underwater yacht in Russia...
19th MAY 2012 :
King's Road rejoices. Manchester wails, Munich wails, Catalonia wails. ROMAN PREVAILS !
Just like all the other players, fans and friends of FC Bayern, Arjen Robben is deeply disappointed and hurt by the unlucky and undeserved defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League final in a penalty shootout.
-FC Bayern Official Statement
---- Well, if so many dignified people are saying Chelsea don't deserve to win, surely they don't. But who is this Rooski who is unperturbed by this raging storm and is instead partying.---
BACK TO 2003 :
A Russian contingent was arriving in England. Tabloids reports were full of reports anticipating a "Russian Revolution at Liverpool/Chelsea". The Ringleader of this great Russian circus, a billionaire, was visibly torn. Not between whether to provide free oil to Herr Hoeness to spare himself future criticism or not, but his matter of concern was a seemingly legit one.
He had seen a bunch of kids playing with a giant rubber sphere while passing across a Moscow playground in his Panzer tank. Enthralled by what he saw, he asked the lady seated next to him, the Black Widow, about what was going on. Upon being enlightened about a sport called football, he decided to have a plaything, a football club. Also in a bid to expand his bases, he chose England as the country where he would buy a club.
After a lot of research, he had set the basic criteria for a club to be his plaything, it should be playing Champions League football. Two clubs, that were feasible, were playing each other that day, fortunately, in some sort of a psuedo-playoff. One draped in red nylon, the other in blue. The blue boys were leading 2-1 when this happened.
A blue-wearing blonde Dane hit what @USASoccerGuy would call a deathstrike. So blue team it was. He wrote a multi-million pound cheque and the deal was sealed. Chelsea FC now had a new owner.
AND AS THEY SAY, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT IS HISTORY :
With a few signatures along the dotten lines of his chequebook, Chelsea FC had no debts, top players were coming in and the club became the world's envy.
A famous anecdote dating back to roughly this period featuring both the billionaire Roman Abramovich and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has forever been doing the rounds. Here's my version of it :
RA : Franco, please revoke your Cagliari decision and stay at Chelsea, we'll conquer the world together.
GF : Roman, who know what a professional's word is, I've given Cagliari my word.
RA : I'll buy Cagliari if that means your promise isn't broken. Please stay with us.
GF : Haha, no my dear friend, don't overreact. My heart shall always be at the Bridge regardless of where I play.
RA : But...
Gianfranco Zola walks up to Roman Abramovich and gives him a comforting hug.
GF : Roman, please no. All the best. May success be with you.
With that, the God that is Zola smiles and vanishes...
Spurred on by that, Roman went on to splurge insane sums of money in Chelsea, witnessing the maximum number of trophies won by any English team in a 10 year period.
He has never lot go of his eagle-eyed watchful sentry-like nature, taking care of all of Chelsea's proceedings. What was initially a plaything, a leisure toy, had now turned into feelings of passion of a fan, a love for the club, a lust for victory and a club-trademarked Carefree attitude. While the purists loathe him and his investment in the club, neutrals cannot deny that his intervention in English football caused the game to be as fierce and competitive and cutthroat as it is now. Chelsea broke the stronghold of red-wearing clubs in the Premier League and are now rapidly increasing their trophy-count on the European front.
While I'll maintain that my reasons for beginning to support Chelsea were the players, Lampard, Ballack, Joe Coleand Terry, plus the fact that Blue was my favorite colour. But if I look back, I ponder whether would Chelsea have signed Ballack, manage to keep Lampard and Terry, had Roman not been there. Clearly Roman's presence (TBH, his $$$'s presence), had made Chelsea a magnet for star players and staff. Also been jumping on the bandwagon have been millions of fans like me. Roman, in essence, has invigorated the club.
Now I won't go out and say that Chelsea were nothing without Roman, remember, Chelsea were a CL club when he bought us. What, however couldn't be denied, is that he catapulted us into the highest echelons of the elite category. Call him a cold-blooded businessman all you want, but you cannot mistake the glint of satisfaction and glee in his eyes after winning the CL for the big millions he was about to rake in.
An interesting comparison could be with Alisher Usmanov, the Arsenal owner. Another Russian billionaire, he chose to convert Arsenal into a profit garnering venture rather than injecting the profits back into the team and help Arsenal compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. They sold Henry, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy, Fabregas and van Persie, to name a few. And when we look back at the big names Roman's Chelsea have sold, we realise that we have sold ... no one. Only big-names to depart were those who weren't performing up to the mark, or were having problems settling, or did coke*.
*Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
Yes, that IS the Black Widow walking alongside Roman.
Due to him, we have not been a selling club. Consider it, had he not been here offering Lampard, Terry and co. the contracts their talents deserved, they would have moved on surely. It's not just him buying new players, but signing on the stars we already had. It is valid even now. Had it not been for his vision, ambition, passion and money, we would've let Luiz move to Barca, wouldn't have outbid L'Arse for Mata and lost out to City for Hazard.
Dear Roman, you have been preserving legacies and creating new ones at the same time. For this, every Chelsea fan is forever indebted to you. No, not just your millions, but your passion and love for the club. You help us cherish our legends for longer, and at the same time, creating new ones.
And for all those people who loathe him, the Geezus has something to say to you...
Have a great day pals, #EnjoyTheLife and #BeHappy, and Keep Calm and Trust in Roman. KTBFFH !