It was 12-years ago since Paris Saint-Germain paid their first ever visit to Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League. Jose Mourinho was just getting his feet under the table at The Blues having left FC Porto as champions of Europe six months prior. Little did the Chelsea fans know at the time he would go on to become their most successful ever manager. As for ourselves, we bowed out of the competition on a whimper that season but no one could have foresaw what the club would become a decade on.
Both Chelsea and PSG are different entities these days. You do not need me to give you a history lesson on the stratospheric rise of both clubs. What has transpired since Wednesday 24th November 2004 clearly speaks for itself. Chelsea became the kings of Europe and we are in the midst of the club’s most prosperous era in its 46-year existence.
But, you just have to look at our starting-XI from that night at the Bridge 12 years ago and you just have to pinch yourself. Yes, there were some decent players there but not the world class talent we possess today. Sylvain Armand will be perceived as a cult hero for all his years of service and rightfully so. The recent retired Mario Yepes was in the centre of defence. And of course, the only man to be considered as an icon that’s of equal measure to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the great Pauleta!
Then you look at the polar opposite side of things at a player like Reinaldo – Pauleta’s strike partner on the night – who left Paris the following summer and has since played for 14 clubs! And is still going to this day! He is currently playing in the Indian Super League for Goa.
PSG’s starting eleven against Chelsea in 2004; Letizi, Pichot, Pierre-Fanfan, Yepes, Armand, Mendy, Cana, M’Bami, Cisse, Reinaldo, Pauleta.
Substitutes: Alonzo, Ibisevic, Helder, Bamba, Boskovic, Pancrate.