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Christian Pulisic and Chelsea win UEFA Champions League

Christian Pulisic made history on Saturday, and also realized a dream.

The U.S. Men’s National Team star became the first USMNT player to play in a UEFA Champions League final, and joined Jovan Kirovski as the only Americans to ever secure a Champions League winner’s medal after Chelsea’s 1-0 triumph over Zack Steffen and Manchester City.

Pulisic came on in the 66th minute with Chelsea holding a 1-0 lead courtesy of a first-half goal from Kai Havertz.

“I’m just so proud. I’m so proud to be here,” Pulisic said after the match. “It’s been a difficult road for me, and I couldn’t imagine winning a Champions League ever in my life and now I’m here, so it’s just crazy.”

The American was active from the start of his appearance, nearly doubling Chelsea’s lead just five minutes after coming on, only to see his chance

“I tried to just get under it,” Pulisic said of his missed chance. “I thought the keeper did well to block the angle. I wasn’t slick enough, I couldn’t get under it so I kind of just pulled it, but hey, we won.”

Pulisic completed 11 of 16 passes, including a clever layoff pass to spring Kai Havertz late in the match, and also won two aerial duals and completed one successful dribble.

The victory helped Pulisic join Kirovski as Americans to win UEFA Champions League winners medal. Kirovski won his with the 1998 Borussia Dortmund team, though wasn’t in uniform for the final after making a pair of appearances in the group stage.

Pulisic played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s run to the title, scoring the lone goal in the Blues’ semifinal first-leg against Real Madrid and assisting on Chelsea’s second goal in a 2-0 second-leg victory.

Though he was not chosen to start on Saturday, Pulisic still came on and did his part to secure the victory and cap a historic season for American players in Europe.

Pulisic will now direct his attention to joining the USMNT ahead of the upcoming Concacaf Nations League, which begins on Thursday with the Americans taking on Honduras in Denver.

“I’ve got some duty with the national team,” Pulisic said. “(Then I’ll) take a little rest, get my head away, and then we’re going to come back and try to do same thing next year.”

Comments

  1. What a season it’s been for Chelsea & CP. Manager changes, injuries, rehabilitation, the pressures of playing at a big club and then go on to win the Champions League. Cool story! Does this make CP the best player from North America?

    Reply
    • As much as I like Pulisic it’s hard to give him the crown as “Best player from North America”. There are a number of players who could lay claim to that title…
      Pulisic, Davies, Bailey, McKennie, Álvarez, all could be considered the best North American player. Who actually is the best…we’ll have to wait to find out during WCQ.

      Reply
      • Alvarez? The part-time starter for Ajax or the part-time starter for LAG?
        ————————————
        Jimenez (injured most of year) 10 app 3g (13th EPL)
        Lozano 43 app 15g 11a (5th in Serie A, Rnd 32 in Europa)
        Davies 35 app 1g 3a. (1st Bundesliga, Quaters of CL)
        Bailey 40 app 15g 11a (6th Bundesliga, Rnd 32 Europa)
        David 48 app 13g 5a (1st Ligue1, Rnd 32 Europa)
        Pulisic 43 app 6g 4a (4th EPL, Champion of Europe)
        Navas 45 app 20 clean sheets 36ga (2nd Ligue1, Semis CL)
        Wes 46 app 6g 3a (4th Serie A, Rnd 16 CL)
        -Chucky and Leon had best stats but disappointing club seasons
        -Wes surprised people with his production but another club disappointment
        -David started slow but produced 2nd half for Lille but not great Europa results
        -Jimenez’s year cut short with a fractured skull
        -Davies not as productive as last season still very good won Bundesliga
        -Pulisic production drop off under Lampard, bumped to the bench under Tuchel, several injuries, wins CL
        Honestly you could make an argument for any of them (except Wes not in the same tier as the others)

  2. At least the coach finally pulled Warner who missed so many scoring chances both during the season and in this game.

    Reply
  3. Happy for Pulisic. Now I wanna see him get out of Chelsea. That manager has always played Pulisic off the bench even back when they were at Dortmund. #freePulisic

    Reply
    • He was often coming off the bench as a sub for Dortmund too. He plays in a competitive position. He’s not going to start every game in a top league

      Reply

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