- Graham Potter took on the challenge to face Real Madrid in Europe
- The Blues will face the Spanish giants in the quarter-finals of the Champions League
- Potter praised Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti ahead of their meeting
Graham Potter insists only winning matters and not how you are after coming up against a Champions League head-to-head with fellow mild-mannered boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Hours after setting out their desire to conquer Europe with an expletive statement, Chelsea and Potter have been paired to meet holders Real Madrid in the quarter-finals next month, with the two teams facing off in the competition for the third consecutive season.
Chelsea could then face Manchester City in an all-English semi-final – and what would be a repeat of the 2021 final in Porto won by the Londoners – if Pep Guardiola’s current side can get past his former Bayern Munich in the last eight.
At a hospitality event for Chelsea members on Thursday night, Potter said on stage, in a clip that has gone viral: “We’re going to try and beat Everton [in the Premier League today]do the draw and then we will try to win the f****** Champions League. ‘
Following that draw in Nyon yesterday, Potter said with a smile: “I said we’ll try to *beep* win the Champions League!” It’s the same for seven clubs.
“They will also say they could lose in the quarter-finals because that’s the nature of the Champions League. We will focus on Real Madrid when we are there. Right now it’s Everton.
The feeling is excitement but, as I said, I prefer to talk about Everton because that’s the [next] The other stuff is far away.
Having seen his low-key approach sometimes questioned and compared to more outspoken, spirited and sometimes defiant Chelsea managers of the past, Potter’s rallying cry on stage was well received by supporters.
But asked about Ancelotti – a six-time European Cup/Champions League winner as a player and manager – and his calm and controlled demeanor, Potter said: “I can’t care to talk about how people think you should be.’
Carlo Ancelotti should be him, Pep Guardiola should be him and Jurgen should be him and I should be me. I don’t care what you think is my answer to that.
“The simple thing is if you win you can be whoever you want to be and if you lose someone wants someone different and that’s the reality.
“You just have to be yourself, to be authentic. Otherwise, if you try to act, the situation discovers you. He has been himself his entire career and has done extremely well.
“I don’t know him personally. I played against him when he was manager at Everton. He’s a gentleman.
“I can’t say anything about everything he has achieved in his career. It’s unbelievable. The time between his first and last Champions League victory – 20 years – is unbelievable. “
Chelsea beat Madrid in the semi-finals en route to triumph in 2021, but the Spaniards got their revenge with a dramatic 5-4 quarter-final win last season.
City and Bayern last met in the competition in the 2014/15 group stages. Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said: “If you end up winning the title, no one can accuse you of being lucky in the draw.
“It was PSG [in the last-16], then it would be Manchester City then maybe Real or Chelsea and then in the final either a Portuguese or Italian team. It would be a triumph of great value, great mentality and great quality.
AC Milan were drawn against Napoli in an all-Italian quarter-final and Inter Milan and Benfica meet in the last eight with the winners of each meeting in the other semi-final in May.