Thomas Tuchel beat Brazilian club Palmeiras to win his third trophy as Chelsea manager in his first full calendar year as coach.
The Blues became world champions in dramatic fashion when Kai Havertz’s extra time penalty sealed the win for the club.
This is Chelsea’s first FIFA Club World Cup title and the German manager’s 10th title in his managerial career, three of which have come as Chelsea boss.
The Blues took the lead in the 55th minute courtesy of embattled striker Romelu Lukaku who guided a powerful header past Palmeiras’ goalkeeper from a Callum Hudson Odoi cross.
Palmeiras levelled soon after when veteran defender Thiago Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball in Chelsea’s penalty area. Raphael Veiga stepped up to score a 62nd minute spot kick for the Brazilian team.
Chelsea had many chances to go ahead but failed to capitalise, leading to an extra time finish for the game. Champions League hero Havertz stepped up and dispatched a cool penalty in the 117th minute, which Chelsea defended until the final whistle to become champions of the world for the first time.
This is Chelsea’s second appearance in the competition, with the Blues failing to win it after their 2021 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.
Tuchel was delighted with the result and expressed how happy he was with the team. “In the end, if you score late you need luck to do it but we were relentless and we did not stop trying,” Tuchel said.
“We did not give in. We had the lead then lost it but never stopped. It was deserved but also lucky when you score late.”
22-year-old Havertz helped Chelsea seal their place in the Club World Cup tournament with his match winner in the 2020/21 Champions League final against Manchester City.
He repeated his feat by also sealing the Club World Cup title for the Blues to hand them their first world title in their club history.
That goal, according to stats website Opta, means that the young German is the second ever player to score the winning goals in both competitions since the indefatigable Lionel Messi, who did it for Barcelona in 2011.
Messi achieved the feat by scoring the winning goal against Manchester United in the 2011 final and Brazilian outfit Santos – who fielded the up and coming Neymar at the time – in the Club World Cup final.
Speaking on this achievement, Havertz said: “Amazing. After champions of Europe now champions of the world. To me it sounds better. We deserved so much to be here to win this game and it’s an incredible feeling.
“I was [nervous], I was, to be honest. I mean it’s a big penalty – just crazy. I think it was good I kept the nerves and very happy.
“I was the third penalty taker. Jorgi and Rom they both were out so I was the only one on the pitch and the other players gave me trust. Hakim, Azpi, everybody they said you do it and I did it.
“I don’t know what to say, I mean I’ve dreamed always of this amazing feeling for me. I’m thankful for everybody, my family, my girlfriend, everyone and yeah just a big thanks to them.”
The win in Abu Dhabi sees Chelsea finally complete a clean sweep of all the trophies they participate in, and all have been done under the ownership of Russian magnate, Roman Abramovich.
The Chelsea owner went straight down to the pitch to celebrate with his charges, but after giving the manager Tuchel a high five for his achievement.
Tuchel said the win was for Abramovich. “It’s for him. There is no doubt it’s for him,” Tuchel said.
“We met shortly on the pitch after the final and I said congratulations and he said congratulations.
“I said, ‘it’s for you, it’s your club and it’s your input passion that made this possible’. We are happy to be part of it. Of course, the trophy is for him.”
Speaking on the winning penalty coolly dispatched by Havertz, Tuchel said: “The penalty does not look nervous [from Kai Havertz] but for sure he was. We trusted the statistics and I’m happy for him.
“I’m a part of it and I’m happy to have the chance. We said before in the dressing room ‘what an opportunity’.
“We all dream to have finals like this. There are no regrets. There are still things to win and it never stops.”