Declan Rice revealed that moments after Chelsea’s Champions League victory, he was part of the Blues celebrations, albeit virtually.
Once the triumphant Chelsea players returned to the locker room, Rice was straight on FaceTime with her childhood friend Mason Mount to congratulate her former Blues academy teammate.
Rice and Mount befriended more than a decade ago and were inseparable in their youth until Rice was let loose from Chelsea academy at the age of 14.
The two have remained close friends to the point where each player gets pasted by their teammates for how often they call each other.
Rice saw his international teammate play a leading role in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over Manchester City in Porto, with Mount providing the assist for the game’s only goal, scored by Kai Havertz.
As Mount was back in the Chelsea locker room, Rice made contact to share the moment with her friend.
“It was right after, from the locker room, it was buzzing,” Rice said. “But we have to be a little careful because people will say that we are in love.
“Every time we do FaceTime, all of his teammates jump in and say, ‘You need to stop talking to each other. “”
Following Rice’s departure from Chelsea, he joined the Hammers academy and established himself as a vital member of a West Ham side that exceeded all expectations to secure a top-six spot in the Premier League and in the Europa League next season.
The 22-year-old is a key man for the club and the country and will play a crucial role in the heart of the England midfielder, however, his international career could have gone very differently.
Rice, was selected three times for the Republic of Ireland before pledging allegiance to her country of birth in 2018.
The Hammer watched England’s run to the World Cup semi-final as a supporter of the Three Lions and revealed that at this point he has already decided where his international allegiances lie.
“It was done then,” he said.
“We’ve talked about it so much, but obviously growing up watching England in the tournament you just feel the good buzz and the effects and the country’s desire for the players to do well.
“It was like that, even in Dubai. There were thousands of English fans. You saw when [Kieran] Trippier scored [against Croatia], all the fan zones in England are going crazy.
“That’s what I want to be a part of now. I can’t wait to experience this and get the real buzz and excitement of the tournament.
“I remember watching the Panama game, the Tunisia game, the Sweden game. It was amazing. The singing before the game, the national anthem, just being part of the tournament is amazing.”
The summer window is officially open and the Blues can now rely on European glory and strengthen the team to push for Premier League supremacy.
By signing up for the Chelsea newsletter here, you’ll get the latest news and rumors, plus exclusive articles and content from club editors Sam Inkersole and Adam Newson straight away, all for free!
And if you want to participate in the debate in the comments and participate in the questions and answers to get your answers to questions, create an account here, because we want to hear from you too.
Rice has revealed that Mount shares his enthusiasm for the European Champions and both are delighted to be part of the English camp.
“I was talking to Mase about it yesterday when we were handed the legacy caps, the trip we both took together. It’s amazing,” he said.
“We are 22 and set to represent our country at a major tournament. We both can’t wait for that to happen.”