Chelsea plans for future as European champion

By Graham Dunbar

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, May 20 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Chelsea players and staff celebrate during an open top bus victory parade to celebrate Chelsea winning the Champions League soccer tournament, London, Sunday May 20, 2012. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League final in Munich on Saturday night. Chelsea team member Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty in a shootout following a 1-1 draw.

Tim Hales, Associated Press

MUNICH — Chelsea will be planning for the future from an unexpected position of strength as champion of Europe following its dramatic upset victory over Bayern Munich.

Since Saturday, owner Roman Abramovich has the Champions League trophy he had craved since buying the club in 2003, plus a place in next season's competition which is key to the club's business plan and status among Europe's elite teams.

Now the Russian billionaire and his advisors must decide if Chelsea's immediate future includes new contracts for inspirational interim coach Roberto di Matteo and talismanic forward Didier Drogba.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says Di Matteo will "have serious consideration," and talks with Drogba's agent are expected next week.

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