A new year is a great time for reflection and setting goals. Former Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles took to his Facebook page today to do just that. In a spur of the moment post, the Portuguese veteran who currently plays for Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig, reminisced on his glory days with Chelsea.
He specifically focused on the Blues' Champions League triumph in 2012 over Bayern Munich when the odds were stacked against them.
I woke up today and felt like sharing those thoughts with you!
I had so many bright moments in my football career, so many trophies, many things to be proud of and so many unforgettable things to tell my grandchildren in the future.
But this one especially is very different for me. In 2012 we won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea Football Club for the first time ever. We were far away from any nominations, everyone said that we are not gonna make it; they even made some jokes about us before the semi-final and the final game. In general, no one literally expected what happened or supported us but our loyal fans in that time. But we proved to everyone that we are the best in the world back then.
It all started with a dream and a true believing in our skills as a team. For anyone, any game is just 90min length, but for us (players, coaches, staff) any game is about endless hours of training, several years of determination and dreaming to make it to this level and millions of supporters who count on you to make them happy and proud of their beloved team.
I opted to share those thoughts in the beginning of the year to tell you that you have to keep on fighting for your dreams, even if everybody around you doesn't believe you can make it.
Never give up, fight for your dream, be always surrounded by positive people who push you forward, ignore all the haters and negativity thoughts.
Happy new year and I wish you all the best.
-Raul Meireles; Source: Facebook
While Meireles will not go down in history as a Chelsea legend, and he was suspended for the final because of a yellow card picked up against Barcelona, he'll always have a small place in the heart of the club's supporters just like every member of that historic squad will. He played 11 matches on the club's journey to lifting the trophy in Munich, scoring two goals in the process including a goal to finish off Benfica in the quarterfinals. He was a valuable member of the squad and one that could be relied upon.
The 32-year-old's career is winding down now, but no matter what else he goes on to do, he'll always be remembered as a member of the first Chelsea squad to win the Champions League. Thank you, Raul!