Chelsea's Mikel Reveals: I Cajoled Robben to Miss Penalty
Chelsea midfielder, John MikelObi, has claimed to have had a hand in Arjen Robben's missed penalty kick in their UEFA Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich at the weekend.
The Super Eagles midfielder, who is unhappy for being left out of Nigeria's squad for both the Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers slated for June, revealed to reporters that he told Robben that Petr Cech knew which way he would go, with the Czech goalkeeper indeed guessing correctly and keeping the effort out.
Roberto Di Matteo's side eventually prevailed 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, in which Robben did not participate.
Mikel, however, admitted that his team were lucky but that destiny was on their side
"I told him: 'Petr Cech knows where you are going to kick it,'" Mikel told reporters.
"I just told Robben that he is going to miss it. You know, we just do that sometimes as players.
"I think when the penalty was missed, we kind of believed that this trophy was going to be ours."
The win ended billionaire owner Roman Abramovich's nine-year wait for Europe's top prize, in a season that had looked bleak following the departure of former boss Andre Villas-Boas in early March.
"I think we have made names for ourselves - we are the first club to win this trophy from London," Mikel added.
"We have shown what we can do. And, hopefully, people can stop writing us off."
The midfielder also hailed interim manager, Di Matteo, praising the Italian for putting faith in him when he first took over from Villas-Boas.
Mikel continued: "When he took over, he had a word with me and said he knows how good I am, I am just maybe lacking a bit of confidence. And he gave it back to me.
"I would like to see him get the job, but at the end of the day, the club will make the right decision."
Meanwhile, Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, has revealed that the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, is targeting another three Champions League wins following Saturday's triumph.
Buck said that Abramovich, who has invested heavily in the Blues' squad since purchasing the club in 2003, now wants to build on that success.
Buck went on to discuss the future of Didier Drogba, whose late equaliser in Germany and final spot-kick proved crucial in lifting the trophy. The Ivorian is out of contract in just a month's time and is a reported target of Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, now managed by former Blues striker Nicolas Anelka.
Buck continued: "We love Didier. But we have to think what's right for Chelsea — and Didier has to do what's right for him."
The American remained coy on the future of interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, however, but did admit that members of the squad are keen for the Italian to be appointed on a full-time basis.
He added: "We've heard from a number of the players that they'd like to see Robbie as manager.
"We haven't set a timescale for a decision. Roman will be in London this week and we have to start thinking about it."
Story by Ghana/ Tony Bebli/ Joy Sports