Essien desperate for European Cup
Michael Essien is desperate to help Chelsea land the elusive Champions League title this season – if only so he can experience Carlo Ancelotti’s singing again.
The Blues, who have reached the semi-final or final in five out of the last seven seasons, are determined to land the trophy.
Ghana midfielder Essien has featured in most of those near-misses and his absence through injury for the second half of last term is thought to have been a factor behind Chelsea’s last-16 defeat to Inter Milan.
The campaign still proved to be the most successful in the club’s history, Ancelotti masterminding their first ever league title and FA Cup double in his maiden season in charge.
The subsequent open-top bus parade saw the Italian take to the microphone with a rendition of the White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ and the Blues’ anthem ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu’ (In the blue, painted blue), and Essien believes a Champions League triumph would spark similar scenes in May.
"I still have memories of the double parade at the end of last season and would love to do it all over again at the end of this season," 27-year-old Essien wrote in his blog on his club’s official website.
"I can’t wait to hear the manager sing ‘Paa-pa-pa-pa-pa-paa’ again. It’s the best Italian song I have heard since Pavarotti and it still makes me laugh even watching the DVD now."
Chelsea’s Champions League hopes received a boost on Friday when they were drawn to face Marseille, Spartak Moscow and MSK Zilina in the group stage, which begins in two weeks.
Essien added: "As a player, you get the inner feeling that something big is around the corner and I feel the same way I felt last season when we won the double.
"However, I am sure we can go one further and add the big one – the UEFA Champions League trophy – to our collection of trophies.
"Everyone knows how much winning that will mean to us.
"As a team, we have won every domestic trophy and so it’s only natural that we have the hunger for the European trophy.
"That is not to say we don’t care about the Premier League, FA Cup or Carling Cup. We want to win every competition we enter this season and we will do all we can to win them all."
Chelsea, meanwhile, have confirmed they have loaned new goalkeeper Matej Delac to Vitesse Arnhem for the season.
The Croatian, who joined the Blues upon turning 18 last month after signing a pre-contract agreement, links up with Stamford Bridge team-mates Nemanja Matic and Slobodan Rajkovic, who are also spending 2010-11 at the Dutch club.