PORTO, Portugal – A season that must have seemed like a nightmare at times for young German Kai Havertz ended in Dreamland when his goal sealed a 1-0 win for Chelsea over Manchester City in the Champions League final Saturday.
The 21-year-old struck in the 42nd minute to give underdog Chelsea a deserved victory, instantly paying off much of the club’s record of £ 72million ($ 102.23million) it cost the club when he joined Bayer Leverkusen last summer.
With impeccable timing, he scored his very first Champions League goal, rushing for Mason Mount’s stunning crossing ball and slipping away from City keeper Ederson before calmly rolling the ball into an unguarded net.
It capped a remarkable turnaround for Havertz who looked like a fish out of water earlier in the season when his form gave him up and he caught COVID-19.
” I do not know what to say. I really don’t know what to say. I’ve waited a long time, ”Havertz said from the field.
“I have waited 15 years for this moment and now it is here.”
Havertz’s lack of form was one of the reasons Frank Lampard was sacked as Chelsea manager in January, when the player had only managed one Premier League goal.
Even when fellow German Thomas Tuchel took over, the striker continued to strive for form and failed to score another league goal until April.
But under Tuchel, Havertz slowly began to show the skills that made him such a target for Europe’s biggest clubs.
“He deserves it, it’s been a tough season,” said Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, hugging his team-mate as the celebrations began on the pitch.
“This guy is going to be a superstar. He already is. He gave us the Champions League and not just that he ran like crazy.
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