Thomas Tuchel on what the Emirates FA Cup means to him and the Final with Liverpool

Ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool, read Thomas Tuchel’s thoughts ahead of the game at Wembley Stadium connected by EE

Wednesday 11 May 2022

This is a huge match in every sense. It’s a huge game because it’s the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley and, these days, if you play in the Final against either Liverpool or Manchester City, it cannot be bigger.

When you play against Liverpool, you know what’s coming – they will come at you at full speed, with high intensity and the highest quality, both on the ball and off the ball. So this is it, this is what we have to expect.

We can reflect on good games against them this season. The League Cup final at Wembley was a fantastic game for both teams and we needed 22 penalties to find a winner. The home match against them in the league was a great match, when we came back to draw 2-2, and the 1-1 draw earlier in the season, at Anfield, was also a brilliant game. So there is a record of very, very close games between these two sides and that should give us courage and also give us a clear picture of what is needed, physically, mentally, in every sense, to win today. To say it out loud – we need everything to be at its highest level.

I love coming to Wembley. I’m a foreigner and Wembley has a big place in world football, so if you come from abroad, it is always exciting to come here. When you are playing here, it tells you that you have a big match, so we are here for the third consecutive time in the FA Cup Final – although it’s the second consecutive one I have been to with the team – and we also had the League Cup final here. It’s also the tradition that you play the FA Cup semi-finals here, so it’s nice to be here again and it means a lot to me personally. This competition has a big reputation, a big tradition and Wembley is one of the best venues where you can play a final.

The tradition and the ceremonial aspect of the FA Cup Final that you have here in the minutes before kick-off does something to you. You feel the occasion even more at that point, and at some moments I’m not sure I would even be able to play the game, because you feel so emotional suddenly. To hear the national anthem and go through all the ceremonies is a big deal, but the protocol is nice and it lifts you. It reminds you that this is what everyone is excited about and that is a very nice feeling.

Now we are in the Final, against one of the best opponents we could possibly face, and we are incredibly excited to get out there and play on this fantastic stage.

You can read Tuchel’s programme notes in full, along with many other great features on Chelsea, in the official Emirates FA Cup Final match programme.

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By FA Staff