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Chelsea announce ‘98 Legends match featuring Zola, Wise, Vialli against Inter Milan

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Friday, May 18. Mark your calendars.

FC Chelsea / Europapokalsieger 1998 Photo by Nagel - Sportbild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Five days after the final match of the 2017-18 season, a Legends match between Chelsea and Internazionale will take place at Stamford Bridge. This rather unexpected occasion, as announced by Chelsea this morning, will take play on Friday, May 18, with the season ending the preceding Sunday, May 13.

And make no mistake, it will be an occasion indeed, especially for fans of my generation for whom these players were some of the very first Chelsea heroes, especially this 1998 squad that won the Cup Winners’ Cup (the original Europa League, but better) and then beat Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

Chelsea’s opponents will be “a collection of Inter’s finest players from the recent past”, with the ageless wonder Javier Zanetti, the often mercurial Youri Djorkaeff, and the always great Francesco Toldo making an appearance in the announcement video. But it’s Chelsea who will be the main attraction.

CHELSEA LEGENDS V INTER FOREVER

It's happening! We are delighted to announce a very special Legends match against Inter Forever at Stamford Bridge on Friday 18 May! Details: http://che.lc/K8Zdo4

Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Monday, February 12, 2018

Depending on just how many of the 1998 Legends can be brought together for this match, we could see the likes of Zola, Wise, Vialli, Di Matteo, Poyet, Petrescu, Clarke, Lebouef, Duberry, De Goey return to Chelsea to join up with their former teammates who have since turned Chelsea coaches (Morris, Newton, Myers, Flo) and entertain us all once again on the pitch.

“All the players I spoke to were really excited about the prospect of playing together again and I think it is going to be brilliant. Everybody will want to come off the pitch feeling they have shown themselves in a good light. We are all old professionals and there is a pride in your work, and it is easy to say it is a game we just want to enjoy, but ultimately, if you score the winner, you are going to be delighted!”

-Graeme Le Saux; source: Chelsea FC

Personally I’m also hoping to see the likes of Desailly and Babayaro play as well — they joined that summer, after the CWC win.

Should be fun!

Chelsea TV put up this tremendous video, which you should watch at least once.