Chelsea obsessed with winning the Champions League, says Petr Cech
PETR Cech has admitted Chelsea are obsessed by winning the Champions League but insisted that did not mean they would "shoot themselves" if they came up short again.
The Blues travel to Valencia this week for what is arguably their toughest Group E assignment as they continue their quest to lift Europe's biggest club prize for the first time.
No-one has gone closer than Chelsea to winning the Champions League without managing to do so in the eight years since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
Landing the European Cup has been described as an 'obsession' both for the Russian billionaire and his players, but Cech - who has played a part in all but one of the Blues' failures - has insisted that could be said about any big club.
"Show me a team of the stature of Chelsea, Man United, Real Madrid or Barcelona who is not obsessed with winning the Champions League," the goalkeeper said.
"If they are not, I'd be surprised why they play in it.
"Even if you have won it before, you just want to keep winning the Champions League.
"Every season, the ambition is to win the competition. People always use the word 'obsession' in a negative way, which I'm amazed by.
"We are not obsessed in the way that, if we don't win it, we'll just go and shoot ourselves. That's not the case.
"We are obsessed with the Champions League because this is a great competition to win.
"In a positive way, we try to search for the victory. I think it's very good to have this 'obsession' because, if you're not hungry to win, you shouldn't play."
Chelsea have never failed to make the knockout stages of the Champions League during the Abramovich era and they can take a huge step towards an eighth straight last-16 tie with victory at the Mestalla on Wednesday.
They currently top the group after beating Bayer Leverkusen - with Valencia only managing a draw in Genk - but Cech was under no illusions about the task at hand this week.
"Everyone is counting Valencia as one of our main rivals and this will be a difficult one," he said.
"When you are going for every trophy, it's always good to have as many points as possible as early as possible in the Champions League and then you can concentrate on the league and the Carling Cup.
"Our aim is to get qualification as quickly as we can so we can concentrate on the Premier League until the New Year."
Independent News Service