Sport

Kai Havertz matches Lionel Messi’s record with Chelsea moment in Club World Cup final

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz has matched an impressive Lionel Messi record with what he did in the Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Palmeiras.

Havertz, 22, stepped up once more when it mattered with his penalty late on into extra time as the Brazilian club’s wait for the much-wanted title goes on.

Meanwhile, the Blues’ glory in the Club World Cup now means that they have completed the clean sweep of trophies under Roman Abramovich’s stewardship.

Initially, it looked as though Romelu Lukaku’s headed goal would be enough to claim the title itself, however, a contentious but rather clumsy moment from Thiago Silva allowed striker Raphael Veiga to create a route back into the contest for the South Americans from the penalty spot.
After some huffing and puffing in extra time, a snap shot from Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have hit the hand of one of the defenders and therefore allowed the west Londoners a chance to make history once more.

Without Jorginho and Lukaku on the pitch, it initially looked as though Azpilicueta was going to step up but it was the Champions League winner Havertz who shouldered the responsibility once again.

And once the final whistle went, the German international unwinded on the feelings he felt during the crucial moment out in the Middle East.

He said on Channel 4’s coverage of this final: “Amazing. After champions of Europe now champions of the world. To me it sounds better. We deserved so much to be here to win this game and it’s an incredible feeling.

“I was [nervous], I was to be honest. I mean it’s a big penalty – just crazy. I think it was good I kept the nerves and very happy.

“I was the third penalty taker. Jorgi and Rom they both were out so I was the only one on the pitch and the other players gave me trust. Hakim, Azpi, everybody they said you do it and I did it.”

He then added on the feelings regarding what it’s like to make more history for the club: “I don’t know what to say, I mean I’ve dreamed always of this amazing feeling for me. I’m thankful for everybody, my family, my girlfriend, everyone and yeah just a big thanks to them.”

On a personal note, despite some people questioning why he moved from Germany to the English capital, the versatile forward has matched a record that only Messi had occupied until Saturday night.

As per Opta Joe, Havertz’s winning goal from the spot, coupled with his silky finish in the Champions League final last term against Man City, means that he is the first and only player since the Argentine back in 2011 to score in both finals.

It is an impressive accolade to have associated with your name and at the age of 22, and the sky is the limit for Chelsea’s number 29 who made manager Tuchel a ‘happy’ man come the end of an exhausting 120 minutes.

Tuchel said after the match to Channel 4 regarding Havertz: “The penalty didn’t look nervous but for sure he was nervous. He knew what was at stake but has a good record at shooting. I am happy for him.”

Messi’s achievement was earnt with goals in big victories for the Catalan giants 11 years ago against Manchester United and Brazilian outfit Santos respectively.

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