Euro 2020 has been a long time coming. Delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Championship is less than a week away from kick-off.

While the disappointment of seeing such a major tournament postponed and pushed back in 2020 was significant for many football fans, the delay has arguably helped the prospect of having more young players involved.

Every international event has its star man, but they also have their breakthrough talents and youngsters on the scene for the first time.

Euro 2016 had the likes of Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich, Young Player of the Tournament Renato Sanches and Marcus Rashford – the youngest individual to feature – enjoying their first experiences of such events.

Who will be their equivalents at Euro 2020?

Well, Stats Perform has identified 10 members of the 'next generation' either hoping to stake their claim for a regular spot in the team or announce themselves on the big stage.

Becir Omeragic, 19, centre-back – Switzerland

It's no mean feat to establish yourself as a regular at club level as a teenage centre-back, a position that often requires maturity and composure, but Omeragic has done just that with FC Zurich, playing 48 league games for them since the start of 2019-20.

A tidy player in possession, Omeragic generally operates as the right-sided defender in a back three, and that suits him down to the ground with the national team, whom he has represented four times already.

If he does appear for Switzerland in the Euros, he'll become their second-youngest player to feature for them at a major tournament in the past 10 years, with Breel Embolo the only one to do so at a younger age (19 years, 118 days at Euro 2016).

 

Kacper Kozlowski, 17, attacking midfielder – Poland  

The fact Kozlowski was even in contention for a place in the squad is a triumph in itself, given that he broke his pelvis and back in a car crash just last January. That he actually secured a place is truly remarkable.

Kozlowski is the next great hope of Polish football, having already made a name for himself back home at Pogon Szczecin, with whom he became the second-youngest player in Ekstraklasa history (15y, 215d). He then became the club's youngest league goalscorer (17y, 182d) in April with a diving header against Podbeskidzie.

That came a month after he made history with the national team, becoming their youngest ever player (17y, 163d).

Kozlowski is a technical gifted attacking midfielder, but don't let that lead to certain misconceptions – he's also an impressive physical specimen for his age and a feisty competitor.

 

Jonas Wind, 22, forward – Denmark

Scandinavian countries are producing some bright attacking talents at the moment, and Wind looks set to be Denmark's contribution to the trend.

Wind has been a regular in the Copenhagen squad since he was a teenager, but in 2020-21 he enjoyed something of a breakthrough as he started 28 of their 32 league games.

His haul of 15 goals and eight assists was bettered by only one Danish Superligaen player and also shows his well-rounded nature.

A real unit, Wind is effective in the air, good at holding up play and also technically efficient. This blend of abilities – particularly his aerial prowess – could be a real weapon in Group B, which looks as though it could be a tight one.

Adam Hlozek, 18, forward – Czech Republic

If there's one teenager who looks likely to spark a post-tournament bidding war among Europe's biggest clubs, it's arguably Hlozek, who appears to be a serious talent.

At Sparta Prague, he initially started out as a winger because of his direct style of play and dribbling abilities, but those skills have transferred particularly well to a more central berth this term, where he has also been able to make the most of his impressive build.

Despite missing a chunk of the season through injury, Hlozek's still managed to plunder 15 Liga goals in just 19 matches, and in April became the competition's youngest hat-trick scorer with his treble against Opava.

He then finished the season with an astonishing four-goal haul against Zbrojovka Brno to finish as the league's joint-top scorer, though he also had six assists to his name. The 18-year-old is a complete striker if there ever was one, and he could be a wonderful wildcard option for Czech Republic if he overcomes a pre-tournament injury.

 

Illya Zabarnyi, 18, centre-back – Ukraine

Hopes are high for Zabarnyi, not just with Ukraine, but at club level as well. Currently playing for Dynamo Kiev after coming through their academy and making his debut just last September, the highly regarded centre-back is already attracting interest from abroad, with Chelsea supposedly among those keen on him.

Zabarnyi was one of only two Dynamo players to play every minute in the group stage of the 2020-21 Champions League (540), along with Tomasz Kedziora, highlighting just how trusted he already is by the Ukrainian champions.

The nine clearances he made in December's 1-0 win over Ferencvaros was more than any other Dynamo player in a single game in the 2020-21 edition, while his 34 across the group stage was bettered by only seven defenders. While some might point out such metrics tend to favour those in so-called lesser teams, it's worth mentioning the likes of Marquinhos, Antonio Rudiger and Stefan Savic were among the few with more clearances than Zabarnyi.

His distribution can still be problematic when under pressure, but he does possess a cool head on the ball – Zabarnyi certainly has the potential to be a mainstay for Ukraine in the coming years, and hopefully he'll get an opportunity at Euro 2020.

 

Maksim Mukhin, 19, defensive midfielder – Russia

With Belgium the big favourites to advance from Group B, there's going to be a three-way tussle for second (and third) between Denmark, Finland and Russia. Those three could be quite well-matched, with their contests looking difficult to call either way.

Mukhin's destructive tendencies could be key towards the end of games if Russia are under pressure but still in with a chance of victory, with the 19-year-old recording the best minutes-per-tackle rate (one every 19.8 minutes) among all players to feature at least 10 games in the Russian Premier League in 2020-21.

Young he may be, but Mukhin won't be overawed by the occasion having made his Champions League debut with Lokomotiv Moscow this season, catching the eye in his solitary appearance – a 3-1 defeat by Salzburg in which he made four tackles (bettered by only one player on the pitch) and three interceptions after coming off the bench at half-time, evidence of his defensive capabilities.

An energetic and competitive midfielder, Mukhin – who has agreed to join CSKA Moscow for next season – could be a real asset for Russia, if not now then almost certainly in the future.

 

Jules Kounde, 22, centre-back – France

Granted, Kounde is perhaps a level above the rest here in terms of how established he already is at club level with Sevilla, but it's worth noting he only got his first senior cap since the domestic season ended.

His form with Sevilla has helped him jump up the queue somewhat, with the Bordeaux youth product getting into France's squad ahead of Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano.

Kounde won't go into the tournament as first choice, but he is an interesting option at centre-back should France need – or want – a change.

A progressive and positive defender, Kounde's 624 carries (defined as movements of at least five metres with the ball) was bettered by only Pau Torres, while he carried possession forward to the tune of 3,908.8 metres across the campaign, a figure only two defenders could improve on in LaLiga this term.

He's also a keen distributor with 3,172 attempted passes – Edmond Tapsoba is the only player younger than him to try more (3,509) across the top five leagues. Potentially set for a big move away from Sevilla this year, making the most of any opportunities at the Euros won't hurt his chances.

 

Jeremy Doku, 19, winger – Belgium

It seems as though most young talents these days have a backstory that includes almost joining one of Europe's biggest clubs – Doku is no different, having opted against signing for Liverpool back in 2018.

A player who dreams of joining Barcelona, Doku definitely looks primed to have an impact for Belgium at the Euros. An explosive winger to his very core, the teenager has just enjoyed a fine debut campaign at Rennes in Ligue 1.

While his goal involvements return of five (two goals, three assists) is modest, his ability on the ball makes him a nightmare to defend against. In fact, of the players to attempt 200 or more dribbles in the top five European leagues this term, he's one of just three to boast at least a 60 per cent success rate – the other two are Lionel Messi and Adama Traore.

Raw, for sure, but if you want a livewire to inject a little unpredictability to you team, you can count on Doku.

Giacomo Raspadori, 21, forward – Italy

Italy are back in the big time after missing out on the 2018 World Cup, and much of the scoring burden will fall on Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti. But if they aren't doing the business, Sassuolo's Raspadori offers a considerably different alternative.

A nimble and technically gifted forward, Raspadori does not have great physicality on his side, so Italy might need to adapt their game slightly if he's in the attack as opposed to Immobile or Belotti, but he is more likely to dribble past his man.

That's certainly not all he's good at, though. While his return of six Serie A goals is by no means remarkable, four of those were scored in his final six games of the season and among Italians to net five non-penalty goals or more this term across all competitions, Raspadori's conversion rate of 37.5 is the best.

Nuno Mendes, 18, left-back – Portugal

A key player in the Sporting CP side that won the club's first league title since 2001-02, Mendes looks set for a big future.

The teenage left-back has already been strongly linked with the likes of Real Madrid and could be the ideal long-term replacement for Marcelo, such is Mendes' skillset.

He was the only teenage defender to create 30 or more chances (31) across the Portuguese Primeira Liga or any of Europe's top five leagues in 2020-21, proof of just how effective he can be and his forward-thinking nature. He also offers good deliveries from set-pieces.

He'll likely be back-up to Raphael Guerreiro at the Euros, but he's certainly not there just for the ride – he can have an impact if given the chance.

Chelsea have exercised the option to extend Thiago Silva's contract, meaning the defender will remain with the Premier League club for a further year.

The Brazil international was signed on a free transfer ahead of the 2020-21 campaign after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, making 34 appearances in all competitions for the Blues.

Silva started in the Champions League final against Manchester City but was forced off late in the first half through injury, leaving him to watch from the sidelines as his team-mates clinched a 1-0 triumph in Porto to secure the trophy for a second time.

The 36-year-old will now be staying at Stamford Bridge for the 2021-22 season to continue working under Thomas Tuchel, who has himself committed his future to Chelsea by signing a new deal that runs through to 2024.

"When we brought Thiago Silva in last summer, we knew we were adding a world-class player to the squad," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said.

"Thiago has duly shown everyone at Chelsea his immense quality throughout this season, and he has had a huge influence on and off the pitch for us.

"We said when he signed that we hoped Thiago would add new trophies to his impressive list of honours, and he has done just that with our success in the Champions League this weekend. We now hope that he carries on in exactly the same fashion in the coming year."

Thomas Tuchel has signed a two-year contract extension with Chelsea after guiding the club to Champions League glory.

The German replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout in January, also leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final and into the top four of the Premier League in his first four months in charge.

Tuchel signed an 18-month deal with the Blues at the time, but he has been rewarded for his successful start to life in west London with a contract that runs through to the end of 2023-24.

"I cannot imagine a better occasion for a contract renewal. I am grateful for the experience and very happy to stay part of the Chelsea family," Tuchel told Chelsea's official website on Friday.

"There is far more to come and we are looking forward to our next steps with ambition and much anticipation."

Tuchel has won 19, drawn six and lost five of his first 30 matches in charge of Chelsea in all competitions, conceding only 16 goals across that period.

Since his first game at the helm on January 27, no Premier League have lost fewer games, conceded fewer goals or kept more clean sheets (19) across all competitions than Chelsea.

The Blues lost 1-0 to Leicester City in the FA Cup final on May 15, but they pipped the Foxes to fourth spot in the Premier League – having been ninth when Tuchel took charge – and beat Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League final.

Speaking after that triumph in Porto, secured through a Kai Havertz strike, Tuchel suggested his agent had already agreed a new contract for him in the event of Chelsea being crowned champions of Europe.

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: "When Thomas joined us in January there was still so much to play for domestically and in Europe. He slotted in seamlessly and immediately became an integral part of the Chelsea family.

"Returning us to the top four in the Premier League was crucial, and we could not be happier with our success in the Champions League, which crowned a remarkable season at Chelsea.

"We are obviously extremely pleased therefore to retain Thomas for a further two years, and look forward to more achievements in the coming seasons."

Thomas Tuchel has signed a two-year contract extension with Chelsea after guiding the club to Champions League glory.

The German replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout in January, also leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final and into the top four of the Premier League in his first four months in charge.

Tuchel signed an 18-month deal with the Blues at the time, but he has been rewarded for his successful start to life in west London with a contract that runs through to the end of 2023-24.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak admitted he absolutely regrets the club's involvement in the proposed European Super League, though he vowed to continue to "disrupt" the world's elite.

Nine of the 12 rebel clubs who signed up to the breakaway competition announced in April, have withdrawn from the proposals amid a huge external backlash.

Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona alone continue to pursue the idea, insisting football is facing an "inevitable downfall" without reform, while UEFA has launched disciplinary proceedings against those three clubs.

Al Mubarak issued an apology following Premier League champions City's run to the Champions League final, upstaged by English rivals Chelsea in Lisbon last week.

"I want to start with apologising to the fans," Al Mubarak told CityTV. "I owe it.

"It was a mistake. I think in hindsight, the decision should have been from the beginning: a decision not to participate in this league.  

"I absolutely regret it. The benefit of hindsight is easy right now. I regret it and you can see it: our reluctance.

"It was very difficult. It was not an easy decision to say 'yes, no' and 'we're in' or 'we're out'.

"I think you can see in terms of the timing of when we actually did commit, it tells you a lot in terms of how challenging a decision it was and how much we struggled with that decision.

"But you can also see that once we recognise there was a mistake, that's it. We needed to go out immediately. 

"I'm not going to sit here and defend the reason why we did it. What I will do is: I will own it. I took a decision ultimately on this and I take full responsibility, and it was a mistake."

After taking over City in 2008, Al Mubarak added: "We will continue to push the envelope in everything we do. We want to be the best club in the world and to do so, we have to disrupt and we will disrupt.

"In being disruptive, sometimes you make mistakes. We have made mistakes in the past, we will make mistakes in the future, but we will do more right than wrong.

"We will be better, stronger and more successful. What I tell the fans on this is, to get to where we are today we have done a lot of things right and we have made a lot of mistakes. It's part of growing and improving.

"You need to have the courage to make mistakes and to own up to these mistakes to go forward.

"If you go back 12 years ago where we started, to where we are today, we couldn't have done the leaps we have made over the years without taking risks and without making mistakes, learning and coming back and constantly improving."

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has hit out at the demands placed on footballers in the modern era, insisting the schedule players face in the coming years poses a "big problem".

The Pole has made 46 appearances for club and country over the course of a 2020-21 campaign condensed by the coronavirus pandemic, and is set to add to that at Euro 2020.

The coming years are unlikely to be any easier, with a mid-season World Cup in Qatar coming up in 2022 and Champions League reforms set to add an extra four group games from 2024.

And Lewandowski is concerned that players are at risk of burnout as the demands on their bodies continue to build.

"So many people forget we're humans, we're not machines, we cannot play every day at the highest level of performance," he told The Times.

"For football and for young players, that will be the big problem, to stay at the top for many years, because now and maybe the next two years, that will be extreme: so many big games."

Lewandowski top scored with 15 goals as Bayern won the Champions League for the first time in seven years in 2019-20.

But he thinks the addition of extra fixtures to Europe's premier cup competition could ultimately ruin the spectacle for supporters.

"Even for the fans, I think so many games will be more boring because if you wait for the games longer, there's more expectation, that feeling that you've been waiting for this," he added.

"The quality of games will go down. It's not possible to stay with this quality on the top with so many games."

Lewandowski's own form showed no sign of fading amid the 2020-21 schedule as he broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record for goals scored in a single season with his 41st top-flight strike of the campaign in Bayern's win over Augsburg.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona have "paralysed themselves" with their commitment to European Super League plans.

Nine of the 12 rebel clubs who signed up to the breakaway competition, announced in April, have withdrawn from the proposals amid a huge external backlash.

Juve, Madrid and Barca alone continue to pursue the idea, insisting football is facing an "inevitable downfall" without reform.

UEFA launched disciplinary proceedings against those three clubs last week after previously agreeing "reintegration measures" with the other nine, who apologised for their part in the plot.

Refuting the suggestion that the ongoing power struggle could cripple the European game, Ceferin told Sky Sport Italia: "They [the three rebel clubs] paralysed themselves with the approach they took.

"It's strange to read press releases that the three clubs out of thousands of clubs think their idea will save football and nobody else likes it."

Ceferin, who could offer no update on the disciplinary case as the committee involved is an independent body, also questioned why Juve, Madrid and Barca would commit to next season's Champions League even while persisting with plans for an alternative competition.

"For me what is strange is that you publish you are still part of the Super League and then you send a letter applying to play in the Champions League. So you are in Super League but play Champions League. It's quite hard to understand what they mean," he said.

"They should call us, send us a letter, ask for a meeting. They just sent some press releases saying they want to have a dialogue. It's quite a strange approach.

"It's really hard to understand what they want. If they say Super League exists – and nobody prevents them from playing Super League, the three of you can play your Super League. But they say they want to play Champions League as well at the same time.

"We are not afraid of those things. If the courts decide one way or another we have to be honest and work for football, which those clubs are not."

Thomas Tuchel's transformation of Chelsea's defence was the key to their stunning turnaround in fortunes following Frank Lampard's dismissal, according to former Blues midfielder and assistant head coach Eddie Newton.

Lampard was sacked on January 25 after a run of just two wins in eight Premier League games left Chelsea ninth, 11 points off the summit. 

Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel was swiftly appointed and oversaw an impressive second half of the season, culminating in a stunning 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League final on Saturday, Kai Havertz scoring the decisive goal shortly before half-time. 

Tuchel also sealed a top-four finish for Chelsea and guided them to the FA Cup final, although they ultimately lost that to Leicester City. 

Lampard and Tuchel were both in charge for 30 games across all competitions in the 2020-21 campaign, with the Blues conceding just 16 under the German compared to 31 in their former manager's games. 

And Newton, who played for Chelsea between 1990 and 1999 and had spells as assistant head coach in 2012 and 2015-16, is in no doubt the success is down to Tuchel's work on remodelling the backline. 

"Frank wanted to be on the front foot and the team was fundamentally in his personality," Newton told Stats Perform.

"He's a very offensive-thinking person, which leaves gaps at the back and towards the end they were getting punished on a regular basis. What Tuchel has done is put right the defensive side.

"He's also brought back senior players into the fold that were not in favour under Frank. Seniority brings stability and more nous about how to get through games when you're struggling. He brought that in.

"He changed the formation by playing three defenders at the back. It became multi-faceted.

"It's been fantastic stuff since he's come in. He's grabbed the bull by its horns and put down the foundations of what he wants to do.

"He's giving clear, concise information to everyone. Getting the results that he has, the players have bought into him. You can see the fight and that comes from the belief the coach has instilled into that team."

Tuchel once again chose Timo Werner to lead the line against City despite the Germany international's struggles in front of goal this season. 

He arrived from RB Leipzig last June for a fee in the region of £45million (€50m) with a reputation of being one of the most prolific attackers in Europe.

Werner scored 34 goals and supplied 12 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig in 2019-20, departing as the club's all-time leading scorer with 95 goals in total.

He has not been able to scale the same heights in his maiden campaign in English football, though, the 25-year-old scoring 12 times in 52 appearances across all competitions. He finished the Premier League season with a shot conversion rate of just 7.59 per cent.

While Newton is impressed with Werner's work ethic, he believes Tuchel will need to sign an established central striker for the 2021-22 campaign, with Chelsea having been linked to Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.

"He hasn't played with a number nine," Newton said. "Werner's work rate, even though he's not been clinical in front of goal, is what he admires and I'm sure his team-mates do as well. 

"He's willing to commit for the team. He's selfless, unlike other strikers, and works immensely hard for the team and that's where their defending starts from. It makes it easier for the team to defend.

"It's going to be interesting to see what he does next season. They can't continue without a number nine. Havertz is not a nine and won't be happy playing there. Werner is not a natural number nine; he likes to come in off the left and right. 

"It's going to be interesting to see how Tuchel addresses that situation. If they bring in a number nine, where do you put Havertz and Werner?"

Champions League man of the match N'Golo Kante covers so much ground he is like "two players", according to former Chelsea midfielder and assistant head coach Eddie Newton.

Kante was in imperious form on Saturday as Chelsea edged past Manchester City 1-0 to secure their first Champions League triumph since 2012, Kai Havertz scoring the decisive goal shortly before half-time.

The France international won 11 of 15 duels, recovered the ball 10 times for his team, and the shortest man on the pitch won four out of seven aerial duels – nobody on his team tallied more.

Former Chelsea playmaker Joe Cole hailed Kante's display, telling BT Sport: "I don't think there's a more important player for his team in world football than Kante."

And Newton, who played for Chelsea between 1990 and 1999 and had spells as assistant head coach in 2012 and 2015-16, was in agreement, describing Kante as the Blues' "engine".

"He's an integral part of any team," Newton exclusively told Stats Perform. "He is the engine. He doesn't care about the razzmatazz, he's a very humble human being. 

"He raises his game every single time. He trains the way he plays. His levels are always the same. 

"His mindset is very strong. Physically he's a joke and able to cover so much ground; he's like two players. 

"He inspires players around him. It motivates you to do more. If you're going to war together, you're going to raise your game, that natural human spirit will rise to the occasion. 

"That's what he does; motivates and inspires others to raise their game."

Newton was also fulsome in his praise of Mason Mount and Reece James, who are both expected to be named in Gareth Southgate's final England squad for Euro 2020. 

Mount laid on Havertz's goal with one of three key passes – the most of any player on the pitch – while he finished with a joint game-high pass completion rate of 96 per cent. 

James, meanwhile, superbly shackled City forward Raheem Sterling, making more tackles (seven) and clearances (five) than any player on the pitch. 

Right-back James is a year younger than 22-year-old Mount and Newton believes the pair can be integral figures for Chelsea over the next decade. 

"Everyone at Chelsea is proud of what Mason's done," he said. "It doesn't matter how many people are around you, this young man's mental attributes set him apart. 

"Reece was outstanding and was very close to being man of the match. He took Sterling out of the game, nullified him, forcing Sterling to defend. Maybe he won't get the plaudits, but he was outstanding. 

"He's done himself so many favours with his performances and his attitude. His work rate, concentration and adaptability is very strong. 

"Another one for the future. You're looking at so many players. It's a fantastic squad that is quite young. 

"This is the beginning of a cycle. It could be the next 10 years for Chelsea. For the rest of the league, they'll be looking at Chelsea and it's ominous for them."

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has revealed he suffered a broken nose and a fracture around his eye socket in the clash with Antonio Rudiger that ended his Champions League final outing prematurely. 

The City playmaker collided with Chelsea defender Rudiger in the 56th minute, at which point Pep Guardiola's side had already conceded what proved to be the decisive goal from Kai Havertz in Porto.

De Bruyne's injury led to a lengthy delay as the Belgian received treatment on the field before he was substituted, the 29-year-old clearly in distress.

On Sunday, he tweeted to confirm the details of his injury, though it remains unclear if it will impact on his ability to feature for his country at Euro 2020.

"Hi guys just got back from the hospital. My diagnosis is Acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture," he wrote. 

"I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday obviously but we will be back."

Belgium are scheduled to begin their Euros campaign against Russia in St Petersburg on June 12.

Thiago Silva claims he was scapegoated during his time at Paris Saint-Germain and is thankful to Frank Lampard for bringing him to Chelsea last year.

The Brazilian centre-back was speaking after the Blues' 1-0 win over Manchester City in Saturday's Champions League final at Estadio do Dragao.

Silva became the oldest player to appear for Chelsea in a major European final, overtaking Claude Makelele, but the 36-year-old lasted only 39 minutes before limping off injured.

He is also only the fifth player to play in the Champions League final in consecutive seasons with different teams, after Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa, Samuel Eto'o and Alvaro Morata.

Kai Havertz netted the only goal of the game in Porto three minutes after Silva exited the field as Chelsea became the third English side, after Manchester United and Liverpool, to lift the trophy more than once.

The victory was particularly sweet for Silva, who was a beaten finalist with PSG against Bayern Munich last August in his final game for the club before departing as a free agent.

The French giants fell short in all eight of Silva's seasons at the Parc des Princes, but the experienced defender feels he was unfairly singled out for blame after each disappointment.

"This is the most important moment of my career," he told RMC Sport. "It's unforgettable. I didn't manage it with PSG but today I'm happy. I hope PSG do it one day, too.

"Every time PSG were eliminated, people tried to find a culprit and it was always me. That's a shame because I really gave everything.

"But I hope they win it because I have left a lot of friends there. I will always stay red and blue."

Silva arrived at Chelsea shortly after PSG's loss to Bayern last August after being persuaded to join by then-head coach Lampard.

The former midfielder guided Chelsea through the group stage unbeaten, but he was sacked in January and replaced by Tuchel following a disappointing run of domestic results.

But while Tuchel – the third different German coach to win the Champions League in the past three seasons – has received much of the plaudits, Silva was also keen to praise Lampard. 

"This is special, in what is my first year here," he said. "Tuchel has changed the team mentality, but it is also important to talk about Lampard.

"Without him I would not be here. So, thanks to him for letting me sign here. I'm very happy and I hope he is, too."

Including his 39-minute appearance in the final, Silva featured eight times for Chelsea in their successful Champions League campaign.

The former Milan man, who won all four of his duels against City before leaving the pitch, is set to be out of contract again next month and has yet to agree fresh terms.

Asked if he will stay on at Stamford Bridge, Silva said: "We will see. We must take it season by season." 

Thomas Tuchel was delighted to make the best possible first impression with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and suggested Saturday's Champions League final win over Manchester City had already secured him a longer-term stay at Stamford Bridge.

Kai Havertz scored the only goal in the 42nd minute at Estadio do Dragao, as Chelsea sealed a deserved triumph over the lacklustre Premier League champions.

Tuchel joined Chelsea with the Blues at a low ebb in January after Frank Lampard's sacking, but he has overseen a remarkable turnaround, including a run to the final that saw off Porto, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss only signed an 18-month contract at Stamford Bridge shortly after being sacked by Paris Saint-Germain.

When discussing his first meeting with Abramovich on the pitch after the match, Tuchel hinted a clause to extend his deal might have been triggered by Chelsea's second European title.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure, but maybe I have already a new contract with that win. My manager [agent] said something about it – let's check this first," he said.

"I spoke to the owner right now on the pitch, it was the best moment for a first meeting. Or the maybe the worst, because from now on it can only get worse!

"We will speak tomorrow and I'm looking forward to this. I can assure him that I will stay hungry and want the next title.

"I feel really happy as part of a really ambitious club, part of a strong group that suits my beliefs and passion about football in this moment perfectly.

"My desire is to go for more victories, to grow as a coach and to push the squad on the first day of next season to the limit.

"We have work to do, we have to close the gap and this is what it's all about. He knows what's going on for me directly and it's nice to meet him."

Tuchel's refusal to bask in success and train his eyes on the next challenge was particularly notable and a mantra to which he kept returning.

Chelsea have now beaten City three times in succession since mid-April and, despite their fourth-placed finish this season, are likely to be seen as key contenders to Pep Guardiola and his side's domestic crown next time around.

"It's about the next one, honestly," he said. "I experienced it in a lower level with my first title in professional football and I was not surprised, it was even a nice feeling that it did not do too much to me.

"When we won the cup in Dortmund I did not arrive in the next training with less hunger, less desire or less ambition.

"Now is the time to celebrate for some days, to enjoy and to let it sink in. Of course this is the time now for one or two weeks, to talk about it and reflect on it, but then it does surprisingly not a lot to you.

"Nobody wants to rest, I don't want to rest. I want the next success, the next title, the next process on the same level of quality and consistency.

"I want to be a part of it and I demand to be a part of it. This is what comes next, make no mistake about it."

Christian Pulisic said it felt "just crazy" as the Chelsea forward became the first American player to be a Champions League winner.

The 22-year-old former Borussia Dortmund star came off the bench in the second half and went close to doubling Chelsea's lead, but they settled for a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.

Speaking after the final in Porto, Pulisic told CBS Sports: "I can't explain it, it's still such a shock. I'm so proud."

He was watched by his parents and a number of friends from the stands at the Estadio do Dragao, making the occasion all the more special.

"I'm so thankful for all the support. To have people here today was amazing," Pulisic said.

"I knew I was going to have to put in the hard work defensively. I wish I put away the chance I had. I didn't quite get under it like I wanted, but in the end this team was always going to win this game and I'm so proud of them."

Plagued by injuries this season, Pulisic was able to bring father Mark and mother Kelley into the celebrations on the pitch to mark a happy ending to a tough campaign.

Pulisic added: "I have my parents here so I've just been speaking to them. I'm so proud to be here.

"It's been a difficult road for me and I couldn't imagine winning the Champions League ever in my life and now I'm here so it's just crazy."

While Chelsea's players head off to summer breaks or away on international duty, Pulisic said the aim next season would be to "come back and try to do the same thing".

Olivier Giroud, who played a significant part in Chelsea reaching the final, was an unused substitute against City.

But the veteran striker, who could have a big role to play for France at Euro 2020, was determined to enjoy the evening.

"It's extraordinary, we had a remarkable route, we knocked out some big teams like Real [Madrid], Atletico wasn't easy, Porto either, and tonight we played against a great team in City," Giroud told RMC Sports.

"It wasn't played out on a big thing, these kinds of matches are played out in details."

Giroud hailed the performance of player of the match and fellow Frenchman N'Golo Kante, whose action-packed display in midfield kept Chelsea moving forward.

"It's right that he was man of the match, he's huge, he won 50 balls, he hurt them," Giroud said.

"He's unbelievable, this guy. It feels like there are 12 players on the pitch with him. I'm happy for him.

"We're a bunch of friends and it shows on the pitch, I'm happy that our efforts have been rewarded. You could see our determination tonight and our desire to go out and get it."

Pep Guardiola insisted he "did the selection best to win the game" after Manchester City slumped to a 1-0 Champions League defeat against Chelsea in Porto.

Kai Havertz's 42nd-minute goal on the end of Mason Mount's brilliant throughball was enough to deny City their first success in Europe's top competition.

Premier League champions City lacked their usual fluency and mustered a solitary shot on target over the course of the contest, despite sending record goalscorer Sergio Aguero on for a farewell appearance late on.

The Opta expected goals (xG) figures for the match were 1.35-0.45 in Chelsea's favour.

Guardiola sprung a selectorial surprise before kick-off by omitting Fernandinho and Rodri and starting with Ilkay Gundogan at the base of his midfield.

The ploy backfired as City struggled for control throughout the match, especially in the first half, but Guardiola insisted his process was the same as the one that preceded this season's triumphs over Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, along with last year's similarly dispiriting quarter-final reverse against Lyon.

"I did my best in the selection. Like last season against Olympique Lyon, like it was against PSG and Dortmund," the City manager told a post-match new conference.

"I did the selection best to win the game, the players know it. I think Gundogan played good, was exceptional. We missed a little but in the first half to break the lines. In the second half it was much better.

"It was a tight game. We had enormous almost chances.

"Against Chelsea it's not easy but it wasn't for them either. They had the goal and Werner's shot in the first half and Pulisic in the second half.

"We struggled a little bit for the long balls, they used the second balls and after they run.

"In that moment, you need inspiration and quality. There were three or four moments with crosses from the byline but we did not arrive."

In City's 61 matches across all competitions in 2020-21, this was only the second time neither Rodri or Fernandinho featured in a starting line-up.

Explaining his rationale, Guardiola said he hoped Gundogan would quicken the tempo of City's play.

The Germany international completed an impressive 76 of his 80 passes (95 per cent) but the club's top scorer this season was unable to have a decisive influence as he created a solitary chance and did not attempt a single shot.

"I decided a decision to have quality players," Guardiola said.

"Gundogan played many years in this position, to have speed on the ball, find the small players, the brilliant players in between the lines and this was the decision."

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel conceded Guardiola's gambit had led to some raised eyebrows in his camp.

"I expected Fernandinho to start," he said. "He chose a very offensive line-up, a very technical line-up, it was very hard to steal the balls and recover the balls.

"Everything else we more or less expected. We expected them to try and pin us on the sides very wide, so it was very important that we stepped out with Toni [Antonio Rudiger] and Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] to support our midfield.

"It was important to stay in a block in the front five to avoid diagonal switches of play for the number 10s. We had to play with a strong bond and a genuine belief and this is what we did."

City's cause was not helped by Kevin De Bruyne departing with a nasty-looking head injury following a collision with Rudiger before the hour, for which the Chelsea defender was booked.

"I don't know about the pain he has in his face, I didn't see him or speak to the doctor because I came to speak with all of you, Hopefully it will not be a big problem," said Guardiola, who was also keen to flag the achievements overall of a campaign where City won a third top-flight title in four years and a fourth consecutive EFL Cup.

"I would like to say it was an exceptional, exceptional season for us. It is a dream being here, unfortunately we could not win," he added.

"We tried, we could not do it and we will work to come back one day."

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