Bertrand: I wondered at times where my career was going but I never gave up

15:55 20 May 2012

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich's Philip Lahm (second left) and Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand (centre) battle for the ball

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ryan Bertrand made his European debut in the Champions League final

Chelsea star Ryan Bertrand vindicated his self-belief after he picked up a Champions League winners medal in his first European outing.

The full back by trade was deployed down the left flank and did not look out of place in the final.

“I spent time at so many clubs, I wondered at times where my career was going, but I never gave up,” Bertrand said. “Ashley Cole has been such a massive help to me too. All the way through. “It was great being out there with him, he kept his eye on me.

“The atmosphere was amazing. Bayern fans outnumbered the Chelsea fans and it wasn’t 50-50 in there, there was more like 70% of them, against us, but we stuck in there together and won it. It’s just incredible.”

The 22-year-old was astounded when interim head coach Roberto Di Matteo told him that he would be playing.

“When the manager told me I was playing, of course I could hardly believe it, but I knew what I had to do,” said Bertrand, who became the first player to make his European debut in a European Cup final since Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink in 1982.

“I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me now. I tried to relax and go to sleep in the afternoon but had all these images flashing through my mind. I was getting all these flashbacks, too, of when I was a kid, growing up in South London, in Peckham, in Bermondsey, tough places, playing against the wall with my mates.”

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