Ballack reveals Chelsea motivation
Michael Ballack admits Chelsea's agonising failure to win a single trophy last season is driving the team to make amends this term.
The Blues were close to winning a treble last season but lost the UEFA Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United, suffered a League Cup final loss to Tottenham and finished runners-up to United in the Premier League. Now Ballack and Co are back on the glory trail after edging into the Champions League semi-finals, where they will face Barcelona, after Tuesday's dramatic 7-5 aggregate win over Liverpool.
Guus Hiddink's side also face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday and remain in contention for the league title. Ballack believes the bitter memories of last season's near-misses have provided the perfect motivation for the crucial, final weeks of the campaign.
"The team are hungry after finishing runners-up three times last season," he told the London Evening Standard. "We are not a team who have won everything in the past. If you compare us to Liverpool, they have had big success.
"But now we are smelling the success. We are coming close to winning something. This club need a big title to go further and that's what we are trying for. I want to win something. I have a few years ahead but I will give everything for the rest of the season to win one, two or three trophies."
Ballack is out for revenge against the Gunners after Arsene Wenger's men came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League earlier in the season. "We want to show Arsenal we can beat them after what happened before. We were controlling the game until they scored an offside goal," he said.
"Getting to the Champions League semi-final has given us a confidence boost going into another big game. Arsenal have a squad and a team that can play football but sometimes they can be up and down. That is why they are sometimes not at the top of the League but, if they play at their highest level, they can play fantastic football."