Frank Lampard has admitted that Chelsea’s previous Champions League heartache has made him even more desperate to beat Barcelona and go on to win the competition.
The Blues have reached the semi-finals in six of the last nine years but the title of European champions has eluded them.
And their disappointments have included losing on penalties to Manchester United in the final and Liverpool in the semi-final, not to mention a painful last-gasp defeat to Barca three years ago.
“I wouldn’t lie and say it’s not disappointing to reach so many semi-finals and a final and not win the competition,” said Lampard.
“Some of my worst moments in football have been losing semi-finals – the Barcelona game probably more than any other because of the circumstances.
“You have to be big enough to take it and bounce back, and we hope that the Champions League will one day come to us. The players and the club remain as determined as ever to win it.”
Lampard is one of a number of senior Chelsea players who know this could be their final chance to get their hands on the trophy.
The same applies to the likes of Didier Drogba, who has been tipped to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.
“It makes you more determined. As we get that bit older as a team we appreciate what we want more,” Lampard explained.
“Semi-finals don’t come around every year – they won’t be there forever – and it makes you more excited and determined about the game coming up.
“It’s a huge occasion. We’re playing against the top team in world football. What better challenge is there, as individuals and as a team, to take on?”