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Chelsea F.C. in international football

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Chelsea F.C. in international football
Chelsea received the trophy from UEFA President Michel Platini.
Chelsea celebrate winning their first Champions League title in 2012.
Seasons played31
Most appearancesJohn Terry (124)
Top scorerDidier Drogba (36)
First entry1958–60 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Latest entry2022–23 UEFA Champions League
Champions League2 (2012, 2021)
Europa League2 (2013, 2019)
Cup Winners' Cup2 (1971, 1998)
Super Cup2 (1998, 2021)
FIFA Club World Cup1 (2021)

Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, London. The club's involvement in international competitions dates back to the 1950s. As champions of England, the club was invited to participate in the inaugural European Champions' Cup in 1955, but were denied entry by The Football Association. Three years later, Chelsea made their European debut against Copenhagen XI in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, on 30 September 1958.

Chelsea won their first European title in 1971, defeating Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1998, they won the same trophy again, followed by the UEFA Super Cup later that year. In 2012, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League, becoming the fifth English team, and the first and only team from London to date, to win the competition. In 2013, Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League and became the fourth club to win all three main UEFA club competitions.[1] Due to a change in competition dates, with the final of the Champions League being played a week after the Europa League final, Chelsea held both the Champions and Europa League trophies simultaneously, the only side to ever do so.[2] Chelsea once again lifted the Europa League trophy in 2019.[3] In 2021, Chelsea won their second Champions League title,[4] giving them the distinction of being the only club to have won all three major European competitions twice.[5] They are presently England's second-most successful club in UEFA competitions, with eight trophies in total.

John Terry holds the club record for appearances in European competitions with 124, while striker Didier Drogba is the club's leading European goalscorer with 36 goals.[6] Chelsea's biggest European win is 13–0, which came against Jeunesse Hautcharage in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971. Their 21–0 aggregate win over the same opposition is a joint-record in European football.[7]


European Cup / UEFA Champions League[edit]

Chelsea were invited to take part in the inaugural European Cup, now UEFA Champions League, in 1955 after they claimed their first league title the previous season. However, Chelsea were pressured into withdrawing from the tournament by The Football Association.[8] They had thus missed the chance to become the first English club to participate in what is now the most prestigious club competition in European football. It was not until 44 years later that they would make their debut in the Champions League.

The 1999–2000 season saw the club progress through the group stage and the second group stage to reach the quarter-finals where they faced Barcelona of Spain. Chelsea won the first leg 3–1 at Stamford Bridge with Gianfranco Zola scoring the opener and Tore André Flo a brace. However, they were beaten 5–1 in Spain two weeks later and knocked out of the competition 6–4 on aggregate, thus ended their first Champions League journey.[9]

Chelsea qualified for the 2003–04 Champions League by finishing fourth in the 2002–03 FA Premier League. Their place in the Champions League was secured on the final day of the season, beating fifth-place Liverpool 2–1 at home. The game was dubbed 'the £20m match' as Chelsea were only ahead of Liverpool on goal difference before kickoff; a win for either side would see them qualify for the following season's Champions League at the expense of the other.[10] Jesper Grønkjær scored the winner in the 26th minute. The goal would later seem by many as the most important in the club's history and said to be worth £1 billion, as many believe had Liverpool won on that day the subsequent takeover by a Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich would never have happened.[11]

Chelsea reached the semi-finals after defeating derby rivals Arsenal 2–1 at Highbury. Having not beaten Arsenal since November 1998, they went into the second leg with a 1–1 home draw. José Antonio Reyes' goal before the half time gave the Gunners the lead, however Chelsea managed to come back and won in the second half through Frank Lampard's goal within six minutes of the restart and Wayne Bridge's winning goal in the 87th minute.[12] The first leg of the semi-final however turned out to be a disaster for Chelsea as they were defeated 3–1 by ten-man Monaco at Stade Louis II stadium. Two weeks later at Stamford Bridge, they were leading 2–0 shortly before the halftime. Had they kept this score to the final whistle, they would go through on away goals. However, Monaco eventually came back in the second half and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.[13] As a consequence, Claudio Ranieri was sacked at the end of the season.[14]

Didier Drogba celebrates Chelsea's first UEFA Champions League title against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea came very close to winning the Champions League several times during the 2000s. The closest they came was in the 2008 final, held at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. This was the first ever all-English Champions League/European Cup final, with Chelsea facing Manchester United. The game was tightly contested, with the final score after extra time 1–1. In the penalty shoot-out, Chelsea were one kick away from winning the Champions League (Petr Čech having saved Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty). However, Chelsea's captain John Terry slipped on his run up for the final penalty and his shot hit the post. Edwin van der Sar then saved Nicolas Anelka's spot kick and Manchester United were crowned European Champions for the third time in their history.[15]

The following season, Chelsea were on course to make their second final in two years. Following a 0–0 draw at the Camp Nou, Chelsea were beating Barcelona 1–0 at the Stamford Bridge, but Barcelona managed to score an equaliser in the 94th minute of the game. With the score at 1–1, Barcelona progressed to the 2009 Champions League Final on away goals. Numerous Chelsea players protested after the final whistle, most notable José Bosingwa and Didier Drogba. Drogba shouted into television cameras that the game was "a fucking disgrace".[16] Both players were handed bans by UEFA for their actions.

Chelsea would not feature in a Champions League final again until the 2012 final that was being held at the Munich's Allianz Arena. After eliminating Napoli, Benfica and Barcelona, Chelsea faced German side Bayern Munich, who would be playing the final at their home ground. Bayern controlled the game for the most part, and took the lead in the 83rd minute through Thomas Müller. Didier Drogba equalised five minutes later with a header from a corner from Juan Mata. In extra time, Bayern missed several opportunities (including a penalty from former Chelsea player Arjen Robben) and the game was to be decided with a penalty shoot-out. Chelsea eventually triumphed 4–3, despite Juan Mata missing their first penalty. Two Bayern Munich players, Ivica Olić and Bastian Schweinsteiger, failed to convert their penalties. Drogba scored the final penalty of the shootout to secure the Blues' first ever Champions League title.[17] As title holders, Chelsea secured a place in next season's Champions League after missing out of qualification, as a result of finishing sixth in Premier League.[18]

Nine years after their Champions League triumph, Chelsea were able to secure a place in the 2021 final, which was held at Estádio do Dragão in Porto against fellow English side Manchester City. This was the third time that two English sides would face in the final (after 2008 – which Chelsea also involved – and 2019). Despite the odds being in Manchester City's favour and City dominating the possession throughout the game,[19] Chelsea prevailed and were crowned European champions for the second time in the club's history as Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the match three minutes before half-time when he received a pass from Mason Mount, which led to Havertz taking the ball round Manchester City's goalkeeper Ederson and slotting it into the net.[4]



All results (home, away and neutral) list Chelsea's goal tally first.

Colour key

  Competition winners
  Competition runners-up


Overall record[edit]

All statistics are correct as of 18 April 2023.

Including matches in UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League, UEFA Conference League, European Cup Winners' Cup / UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and each competition's associated qualifying rounds.[6][27]

Colour key

By competition[edit]

Chelsea F.C. record in international football by competition
Competition Apps Games Wins Draws Losses GF GA GD Win%
UEFA Champions League[28][29] 19 201 104 53 44 342 181 +161 051.74
UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League[30][31] 5 32 22 5 5 64 30 +34 068.75
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup[32] 5 39 23 10 6 81 28 +53 058.97
UEFA Super Cup[33][34] 5 5 1 3 1 7 9 −2 020.00
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[35][36][37] 3 20 10 5 5 33 24 +9 050.00
FIFA Club World Cup[38][39][40] 2 4 3 0 1 6 3 +3 075.00
Total 39 301 163 76 62 533 275 +258 054.15

By country[edit]

By team[edit]

All-time top goal scorers[edit]

All statistics are correct as of 18 April 2023.

Including matches in UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League, European Cup Winners' Cup / UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and each competition's associated qualifying rounds.


Rank Player Chelsea career UCL UEL CWC USC FC FCWC Total
1 Ivory Coast Didier Drogba[41] 2004–2012, 2014–2015 36 0 0 0 0 0 36
2 England Frank Lampard[42] 2001–2014 23 2 0 0 0 0 25
3 Spain Fernando Torres[43] 2011–2014 10 6 0 1 0 1 18
France Olivier Giroud[44] 2018–2021 6 11 0 1 0 0
5 England Peter Osgood[45] 1964–1974, 1978–1979 0 0 12 0 4 0 16
6 England John Terry[46] 1998–2017 10 3 0 0 0 0 13
Brazil Willian[47] 2013–2020 10 3 0 0 0 0
8 Norway Tore André Flo[48] 1997–2000 8 0 4 0 0 0 12
France Nicolas Anelka[49] 2008–2012 12 0 0 0 0 0
Belgium Eden Hazard[50] 2012–2019 8 3 0 1 0 0


  1. ^ As English champions, Chelsea qualified for the inaugural European Cup, but were denied entry by the Football League after secretary Alan Hardaker advised them to withdraw as domestic competitions should be prioritized.[22][23]
  2. ^ The decisive extra match was played away at San Siro and won on coin toss.[24]
  3. ^ The decisive extra match was played away at Camp Nou.
  4. ^ Lost on coin toss.
  5. ^ Replay of the final.
  6. ^ The away match was played at Arena AufSchalke due to the 2003 Istanbul bombings.
  7. ^ The final match was played at Allianz Arena, which is a home stadium of Bayern Munich. However, the match was officially still counted as a neutral.[25]
  8. ^ Both matches were played at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.[26]
  9. ^ Includes West Germany.


  1. ^ "Chelsea join illustrious trio". UEFA. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Chelsea win Europa League title". Al Jazeera Media Network. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  3. ^ Fifield, Dominic (29 May 2019). "Chelsea win Europa League after Eden Hazard inspires thrashing of Arsenal". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b McNulty, Phil (29 May 2021). "Manchester City 0–1 Chelsea: Kai Havertz goal secures Champions League trophy for Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Five interesting facts about Chelsea's Champions League triumph". Chelsea F.C. 31 May 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Chelsea FC". UEFA. Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  7. ^ Jon Carter (29 September 2011). "Rewind to 1971: The year Chelsea won 21–0 in Europe". ESPN. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  8. ^ Carter, Jon (15 September 2011). "Britain's first European Cup representatives". ESPN. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Chelsea's European dream shattered". BBC Sport. 18 April 2000. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Chelsea in Champions League". BBC Sport. 11 May 2003. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Jesper Gronkjaer: The winger who scored Chelsea's £1bn goal". The Independent. London. 21 February 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Arsenal 1–2 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 6 April 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Chelsea 2–2 Monaco". BBC Sport. 5 May 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Chelsea sack Ranieri". BBC Sport. 1 June 2004. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  15. ^ Burton, Chris (22 May 2008). "United are kings of Europe". Sky Sports. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  16. ^ Fleming, Mark (7 May 2009). "Drogba rages as Chelsea crash out in blaze of fury". The Independent. London. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  17. ^ McNulty, Phil (19 May 2012). "Chelsea 1–1 Bayern Munich". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Premier League 2011/2012 – 38. Round". Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Man. City–Chelsea | Stats | UEFA Champions League". UEFA. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Fairs' Cup 1958–60". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  21. ^ "Fairs' Cup 1965–66". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  22. ^ Spurling, Jon (8 January 2018). "How Hibs became the first British club to play in the European Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  23. ^ "50 years of European Cup" (PDF). UEFA. October 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Inter City Fairs Cup 1966: Forget draws, just toss a coin". Sportskeeda. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Bayern home dressing room". Eurosport. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Why is the Porto vs Chelsea quarter-final being played in Spain?". Marca. 5 April 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  27. ^ "Chelsea FC, London in international competitions, page 2". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  28. ^ "UEFA Champions League Handbook: All-time records" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  29. ^ "Chelsea FC in UEFA Champions League". UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  30. ^ "UEFA Europa League Handbook: All-time records" (PDF). UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  31. ^ "Chelsea FC in UEFA Europa League". UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  32. ^ "Cup Winners Cup, All-time table". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  33. ^ "UEFA Super Cup history". UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  34. ^ "UEFA Super Cup, All-time table". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  35. ^ "Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1958–60". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  36. ^ "Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1965–66". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  37. ^ "Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1968–69". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  38. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012". FIFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  39. ^ "FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021". FIFA. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  40. ^ "Club World Cup, All-time table". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  41. ^ "Didier Drogba » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  42. ^ "Frank Lampard » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  43. ^ "Fernando Torres » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  44. ^ "Olivier Giroud » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  45. ^ "Peter Osgood » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  46. ^ "John Terry » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  47. ^ "Willian » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  48. ^ "Tore André Flo » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  49. ^ "Nicolas Anelka » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  50. ^ "Eden Hazard » Club matches". Retrieved 18 April 2023.