Frank Lampard insists the painful memories of Chelsea's UEFA Champions League failures will spur them on against Manchester United in tomorrow's quarter-final first leg.
Lampard still carries the scars of Chelsea's agonising 2008 final loss to United following a penalty shoot-out in the Moscow rain. The England midfielder has also been on the losing side in four semi-finals.
While Lampard was keen to play down talk of revenge over United, seven of the team beaten by Sir Alex Ferguson's side three years ago could start in the first leg at Stamford Bridge and he knows it would be especially sweet to eliminate such a bitter rival. Yet even more important to Lampard than getting one over on United is the thought of finally experiencing the elation of winning Europe's top club prize.
"The disappointments spur you on. There is nothing worse than the feeling of losing a Champions League final or semi-final," Lampard said. "To score in the 2008 final was a nice achievement, but it was a feeling of frustration for me in the end.
"We played well in the second half and felt we were going to win the game and to lose on penalties was hard to take. There are several players still here and we all have the memory but we don't walk around talking about it. There is no point being negative and crying about it. They are all experiences. We hope one day we have one big positive experience in the competition."
As one of the few players remaining at Chelsea who saw the start of owner Roman Abramovich's spending spree in 2003, Lampard is well placed to assess just how much a Champions League victory would mean to the Russian. However, Lampard insists the players don't feel any extra pressure to fulfil his desire.
"It would be big to win it any year. We have been so close and every year we have got closer people talk about it even more. They talk about the burden, the fate and the destiny but we don't think of it like that," Lampard said.
"We give everything to win. We've given him [Abramovich] some very good times. I know that because of the way he has celebrated with us. Of course the Champions League is a huge thing. You want to be known as the best team in Europe and have that trophy. At the same time he doesn't come in every day and ask why we haven't won it yet. He understands it's the most difficult trophy to win."
After some dispiriting spells this season the Champions League is Chelsea's last chance for silverware and Lampard believes they go into the business end of the competition in a positive mood.
"After having had difficult moments at times this season we are going into this match in a good moment and hopefully that bodes well," he said. "Often in the Champions League it is about playing the big matches when you are in good form and that should be the case with us."
Lampard will play his 500th game for Chelsea tomorrow, joining an elite club consisting of Legends like Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and John Hollins. Though he is proud of reaching such a significant milestone, the 32-year-old insists the achievement will count for nothing if Chelsea do not defeat United.
"It gives me a lot of pride," Lampard said. "I never expected to play 500 games when I came here, especially in just ten years, but it's not the main importance tomorrow. The milestone will give me an extra boost, but it's too big a game to worry about it. The main thing is to help us get the right result."