Chelsea’s performance in yesterday’s Club World Cup semifinal left a bit to be desired, but Man of the Match Mateo Kovačić has assured that there is no lack of motivation in the squad to actually go on to win this competition — unlike in 2012.
“We know what it takes to come to such a big tournament because you need to win the Champions League, so we need to appreciate this moment and to not take it for granted.
“We are desperate to win this trophy. We could be the first team in Chelsea history to bring this trophy to London so we are happy that we are in such a big final and we will do everything to win it on Saturday.”
Assistant coach Zsolt Lőw blamed a bit of nerves, even, for the team’s disjointed and often rushed play, but if there is one person who wouldn’t have been nervous, it’s Kovačić, who’s played in these games before — perhaps contributing to his Man of the Match performance.
The 27-year-old midfielder featured in the 2016 final and the 2017 semifinal for Real Madrid, and for him, it comes down to simply executing better and finishing off the opposition when given a chance: familiar concerns, to be sure.
“This is our biggest problem, we don’t close the games when we have the opportunity and then you get in trouble. You’re just 1-0 up and the opposition has nothing to lose, they go all in so it is a difficult game.
“In the end we’re happy we are through to another final [but] we need to do on Saturday again a good job because Palmeiras is a great team with very good players, they are aggressive, with amazing fans so it will be a difficult game but we need first to rest and then we will be prepared.
“It’s a final and finals are always difficult game”
-Mateo Kovačić; source: Chelsea FC
There’s a cliché that this trophy matters more to non-European teams, and especially South American teams, but it sounds like we’ve got our motivations well set as well.
Let’s get it!