Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has paid tribute to former manager Frank Lampard after the Blues beat Manchester City to claim their second Champions League title.
The west Londoners gave a brilliant display to nullify the Premier League champions in Porto in Saturday’s showpiece, with Kai Havertz’s first-half goal securing a 1-0 victory.
Although Thomas Tuchel received all the plaudits for his excellent tactical plan, Chelsea would not have made it to the Champions League final without Lampard having first guided them out of the group stage.
Although the club legend would be sacked just a month later, unbeaten Chelsea topped Group E with 14 points, edging out Sevilla and avoiding the harder half of the draw.
Lampard also played a crucial role in convincing then free agent Thiago Silva – who limped out of the final in the first half – to move to Stamford Bridge last summer, and the Brazilian was keen to praise his old boss following Saturday’s victory.
‘Without Lampard, I would not be here,’ the former PSG skipper told RMC Sport. ‘I am very happy, and I hope he will be too.’
On the magnitude of the win, Silva continued: ‘This is the most important moment in my career.
‘I am truly very happy. We didn’t manage it with PSG [in last season’s final against Bayern Munich] but today I am very happy. I hope PSG do it too.
‘Each time PSG were knocked out, it was made out to be my fault. It’s a shame. I did everything I could for the team.’
Silva appeared to pull his hamstring in the first half of the final and had to be substituted, with replacement Andreas Christensen giving an excellent display in the veteran’s absence.
The 37-year-old only signed a one-year deal when he moved to Chelsea last summer, but is on the verge of putting pen to paper on an extension that will keep him at the Bridge until 2022.