Christian Pulisic is coming off a sensational period for club and country earlier in 2021, winning the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea and also helping the U.S. men’s national team lift the inaugural Concacaf Nations League. Now with a new season just a few weeks from kicking off, Pulisic and his Chelsea teammates are looking to use last season’s success as motivation for more trophies in the near future.
Pulisic and his teammates continue preseason camp ahead of an August 11th season opener against Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup. Thomas Tuchel stepped in at the midway point for Chelsea and helped guide the club to a second-ever UCL title and a top four finish in the English Premier League.
The 22-year-old Pulisic was one of several players who benefitted from Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, and after helping his team win Europe’s top achievement at club level, is still trying to take everything from the last few months in.
“The whole thing was kind of unreal,” Pulisic said in a club interview. “I don’t know, winning it has never really fully hit me I don’t think. Maybe it will in more time. I think it will take me a couple of years for it to really sink in.
“It’s just a really proud moment in my career, to be involved in a success like that. I think a lot of the guys will go into this season nice and confident and that’s really important, and also everyone is hungry to win more which is the best thing you can have in the team. We all just want to keep on getting better.”
Pulisic finished his second season at Chelsea with six goals and four assists in 43 combined appearances, and also delivered several other strong individual performances, even if it didn’t lead with him getting on the scoresheet. Following Chelsea’s triumph over EPL rivals Manchester City in Portugal, Pulisic joined up with the USMNT and delivered the game-winning penalty kick in a 3-2 extra time victory over Concacaf rivals Mexico in the Nations League Final.
The Hershey, Pennsylvania native comfortably beat Guillermo Ochoa to the top corner with his spot kick, and helped grind out the victory in Colorado. Pulisic has continued to develop into a top talent in Europe and has also become a true leader for the USMNT heading into this fall’s grueling World Cup Qualifying schedule.
Chelsea’s goals will remain high after ending its competitive schedule on a major high note in May and Pulisic will certainly play a key role for the club, just like he has continued to do for both Tuchel and Gregg Berhalter.
“The Champions League win was incredible and I really wanted to finish off the year strong,” Pulisic said. “Then I went off with the national team and that was a really important win for us too, for the younger guys that we have.
“It was almost a full stadium so it was really cool, with a really intense atmosphere so I really enjoyed it and it was a strong way to end the season.”
Pulisic and Chelsea will face Villarreal on August 11 before beginning its EPL schedule on August 14 against London rivals Crystal Palace.