Chelsea hero Carlo Cudicini explains John Terry’s private reaction to 2008 Man Utd agony

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Chelsea hero Carlo Cudicini has opened up on how John Terry behaved following the club’s defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final. Terry stepped up in the penalty shootout that year knowing that, if he scored, the prize would belong to his team. Yet he ended up sending his effort wide, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side reigning supreme.

Manchester United took the lead against Chelsea in Moscow through Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted his 42nd goal of the season in the process.

The Blues then levelled through Frank Lampard, who capitalised on a slip by Edwin van der Sar to find the net.

Chelsea hit the post twice after that, with Lampard and Didier Drogba smacking the woodwork.

But after Drogba received a red card for a slap on Nemanja Vidic, the match went into a penalty shootout.

Ronaldo missed his effort, paving the way for Terry to clinch glory for Chelsea in their first-ever Champions League final at the time.

However, the ex-England captain sent his effort crashing wide – with United then winning the trophy after Van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka.

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Terry was visibly upset in the aftermath of the contest in Moscow, crying on the field as United players celebrated around him.

And Cudicini, who was on the bench that evening, has talked to Ladbrokes about the way Terry acted in the dressing room following the match.

“Watching the 2008 Champions League final from the bench in Moscow was tough, because I knew I had no control over what was happening,” he said.

“I understood my role though, and even with a good record of saving penalties, only in rare occasions do you see goalkeepers substituted before a shootout, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“The first guy I went to console was John Terry because he was in tears.

“He was our captain, and had he have scored, he’d have lifted the cup for us.


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“I had a good relationship with JT so I made sure he was the first person I tried to comfort. Petr Cech managed to save one penalty on that night, which is all you can ask from a goalkeeper in that moment.

“Apart from the fact that we lost the game, there’s not really a lot you can say to Petr after what had happened, because he’d done nothing wrong. JT was the one who needed the support from us.

“In those circumstances, the dressing room is just silent after the game.

“It’s not a final where we got battered and were angry with ourselves. There’s nothing you can do or say; you lost on penalties.

“There’s just a sense of disappointment because we wanted to get our hands on the trophy, especially for our owner because the game was in Moscow. It was a hard result to take, and it led to the dressing room being silent.

“I think I can remember JT saying sorry for missing his penalty.

“It’s one of those moments where no one has the strength to say anything. It’s about picking the right moment when to speak, and tell people that the opportunity will come round again, and that we need to make sure that next time there’s a different outcome.

“But that moment never came in that dressing room on that night.

“You hear some people say it takes them a few days, or even weeks to get over a result like that.

“But for me, those defeats stay with you forever – especially if you never get the chance to make up for them again. JT, Frank [Lampard] and Petr won it in 2012, so I believe that, while 2008 still hurts them to think about, their pain is softened a little by that victory four years later.

“But for the guys who don’t get another chance to win it, like myself, the pain never leaves you.

“I lost another Champions League final earlier on in my career in 1992 with AC Milan. We lost against Marseille – again I was on the bench for that game, so I’ve experienced it twice.

“Those games will stay with me forever; they’re moments that will never leave me.”

Chelsea have since won the Champions League twice.

They beat Bayern Munich in their own back yard in 2012, with Drogba scoring the winning penalty in the shootout.

And they beat Manchester City earlier this year. Kai Havertz was the hero, delivering the prize in Thomas Tuchel’s first season at the helm. 

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