CHELSEA boss Thomas Tuchel met owner Roman Abramovich for the first time in Porto… and admits it can only go downhill from here.
Tuchel was appointed in January after the notoriously trigger-happy Russian billionaire axed club legend Frank Lampard.
At the time, the Blues appeared massive outsiders to even qualify for the Champions League, let alone win it.
Now, after watching Kai Havertz down Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Saturday’s final, the German is now the toast of West London.
But Tuchel, 47, knows he may have a fight on his hands to keep it that way… even if a new contract may be in the offing.
The former PSG boss said: “I think I have a new contract already.
“My manager said something to me about it – but I don’t know for sure.
“It was a special moment to meet the owner for the first time on the pitch.
“It was the best time for that – or maybe the worst because it can only get worse after this.”
Abramovich, 54, was Portugal making the most a rare opportunity to watch the Blues, who has owned since 2003.
And he was seen high-fiving former Blues striker Andriy Shevchenko after Havertz put them 1-0 up.
Visa issues have meant the Russian has not been able to watch the Blues play at Stamford Bridge in more than three years but the billionaire made sure he was in Porto for their European showdown on Saturday night.
SunSport’s star snapper Richard Pelham pictured the oligarch making his way to his seat in the Estadio do Dragao.
He was dressed in his trademark casual attire complete with face mask and was seen celebrating wildly after Havertz opened the scoring.
Abramovich’s visa issues meant he had never met his latest appointment into the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.
It is believed Abramovich had was watched just three live games – Chelsea’s Europa League final against Arsenal in 2019, a friendly against RB Salzburg a month later and the win over Krasnodar last October – since leaving London for Israel in April 2018.
The visa hold-up came amid tension between the UK and Russia after the Skripal poisoning.
In the years since his last visit, there have been on-off rumours that the Blues had been put up for sale, with the Russian – who recently jumped to eighth in the Sunday Times Rich List – reportedly looking for more than £2bn.
SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST: Top ten
1. Sir Leonard Blavatnik (Investment, music & media) – £23bn
2. David and Simon Reuben (Property & internet) – £21.465bn
3. Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family (Industry & finance) – £17bn
4. Sir James Dyson and family (Household goods & technology) – £16.3bn
5. Lakshmi Mittal and family (Steel) – £14.68bn
6. Alisher Usmanov (Mining & investment) – £13.406bn
7. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing (Inheritance & investment) – £13bn
8. ROMAN ABRAMOVICH – (Oil & industry) £12.101bn
9. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (Inheritance, brewing & banking) – £12.013bn
10. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family (Retailing) – £11bn
And Tuchel is desperate to be part of that future at the Bridge.
He added: “We will speak tomorrow. I want him to know that I am still hungry for more and that I already want the next title.
“We have a very strong group of players here and I want to close the gap.
“I want to dedicate this victory to my parents, my wife and my kids, who were in the stadium.”
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