After the signing of Antonio Rudiger from Roma this week, Chelsea have a German player in their ranks for the first time since the end of 2015. It was Andre Schurrle who was the last German player to wear Chelsea blue and he is joined by Michael Ballack as the two major German players in the club’s history. Obviously there are Robert Huth and Marko Marin but now I’ll run through the best moments German players have had for Chelsea.
Michael Ballack had his most memorable game for Chelsea in a win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the 2007/08 season. The title race was in the balance as the two teams faced each other with 3 games to go so a win was vitally important. Frank Lampard, who had just lost his mother, Pat, was unavailable for the game so up stepped Ballack in an emotional win against the Red Devils. The German scored 2 goals, a penalty and a header, as Chelsea won the game 2-1 and paid tribute to Lampard and his family. His terrific performance earned him Man of the Match and a spot in Chelsea history. Although the Blues didn’t go onto win the league, the game will never be forgotten.
In the 2013/14 season, Chelsea were once again in a title race. Jose Mourinho had returned after a turbulent managerial spell to take the reigns at Stamford bridge once again and he came up against his enemy in Arsene Wenger at Stamford Bridge in March 2014. The game was Wenger’s 1000th in charge of Arsenal but it ended in misery for him as Chelsea thumped the Gunners 6-0 with Andre Schurrle playing a big part in the success. He scored the second goal after just 7 minutes, rolling the ball past Wojech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal after a swift counter attack. This was one of Schurrle’s best moments in a Chelsea shirt but it was made particularly special by the stunning team performance.
Just a couple of weeks later Chelsea were back at Stamford Bridge to face PSG in a Champions League quarter-final. After losing the first leg 3-1, it seemed Chelsea were doomed to elimination but it ended very differently. Demba Ba’s late winner will always be remembered for being the decisive moment in this tie, and rightly so, but it was Andre Schurrle who got the all-important opening goal in the first half as he stroked the ball into the bottom corner after the ball fell to him from a Chelsea corner. The goal was a catalyst for the comeback that followed as Chelsea made it through to the semi-finals – a stage they haven’t reached since. It starting a series of encounters between the two clubs and the match became a big rivalry in European competition because of moments like this.