"He absolutely deserves it" - Tuchel lauds 'fantastic' Chelsea star for his role in FIFA Club World Cup victory


Chelsea secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Palmeiras to become only the third English side (after Manchester United and Liverpool) to win the FIFA Club World Cup.

 Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring for the Blues, with a bullet header in the 54th minute. However, Palmeiras found a way back into the game when Thiago Silva's handball in the box was penalized after checks by VAR.

Raphael Vega made no mistake from the spot for Palmeiras as the game went into extra time. Just as a penalty shootout looked inevitable, the Blues were awarded a penalty of their own for a handball by Palmeiras player Luan.

 Kai Havertz coolly dispatched his penalty in the 117th minute to secure the FIFA Club World Cup trophy. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reserved special praise for Golden Ball winner Thiago Silva and matchwinner Kai Havertz. The German manager said:

“Well, he (Silva) almost ruined his performances with a handball for the penalty!” Tuchel joked. “He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic guy. He deserves all the credit. That’s what we expect from him. I’m happy that he has this [Golden Ball] trophy. He absolutely deserves it.”

Speaking about Kai Havertz, Tuchel said: “He's very important for us. You can never bask in these things, live off scoring the winning goal in a huge game.

 "He have to go and do it again and again and again. I’m happy that he stepped up and took responsibility, and with the way he took his penalty. It’s never easy but he was very convincing.”

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