On Wednesday afternoon Raul Meireles visited Cobham for the final time before he begins to play for his new club Fenerbahçe. Chelsea TV spoke to the Portuguese midfielder before he left.

Meireles transferred to Turkey last week having made 48 appearances during his year at Chelsea. The 29-year-old explained to the club’s own channel why he was at the training ground.

‘I came to say goodbye to my friends and of course I will miss this club and the fans and the city,’ he said. ‘There are some great people here, they always supported me and they help everyone, so of course I had to come to say goodbye to everyone.’

Meireles reflected on the Chelsea chapter of his career that despite his absence from the big climax in Munich due to suspension, involved in some historic and memorable matches.

‘It was a great year,’ he said. ‘The last part of the season was great, we won the Champions League, the FA Cup, and it was very good for me. I will miss these moments but it is a new challenge for me and I am ready to go to Turkey. I hope things go well for me like they did at Chelsea this year.

‘I have been to Fenerbahçe just to sign, and tomorrow is my first day and I am excited to start.

‘Thanks to the fans for their support and I will miss this club a lot, it was very nice to play for Chelsea.’

Join Chelsea TV online for a chance to win a VIP experience which includes the below prizes for the winner and a friend. Click for more information. 

– Meet a ‘mystery player’ in the Chelsea TV studio (autograph and photograph opportunity)
– Watch a player phone-in behind-the-scenes in the Chelsea TV gallery
– Dinner at Marco’s
– Stay at Copthorne Hotel with breakfast


The lunchtime Blues News bulletin, which can be viewed here, is anticipating the return of the bulk of the squad following games across the globe.

There will be action from the training session as preparations for the Queens Park Rangers match begin in earnest on Chelsea TV this evening at 6.30pm and 10pm.

Join online for a chance to win a VIP experience which includes the below prizes for the winner and a friend:

– Meet a ‘mystery player’ in the Chelsea TV studio (autograph and photograph opportunity)

– Watch a player phone-in behind-the-scenes in the Chelsea TV gallery

– Dinner at Marco’s

– Stay at Copthorne Hotel with breakfast


For a top, established Barclays Premier League football club such as ours, the international break is a peculiar time.

On one hand, the fact we have so many players going off to represent their respective nations is testament to the quality of the work being carried out at Cobham and Stamford Bridge, but on the other, training sessions for those left behind can become rather low-key affairs.

However, as assistant first team coach Steve Holland explains, for one particular group of players, the international break represents a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talent.

‘We’ve been working with a group of only four players for the past six or seven days, so first and foremost it means the focus is very individually specific and not team-based,’ Holland tells the official Chelsea website.

‘Secondly, there are opportunities for younger players and reserve players to be under the eye of the manager in order to support the training group.

‘Roberto [Di Matteo] would normally work with 20 players, so opportunities are limited for younger players unless there are injuries, but the international break is a time when they will get a chance to train with some senior players and under the scrutiny of senior management staff.’

Holland’s own role while the group is depleted doesn’t change too dramatically, but while his main focus is on the players who are available to train, he is also required to keep an eye on those involved in internationals elsewhere in order to make the correct decisions regarding their individual requirements when they return.

‘As the players begin to come back it’s a case of trying to establish match minutes,’ he says. ‘Oriol Romeu, for example, was involved with Spain Under-21s, while Oscar, Ramires and David Luiz played for Brazil.

‘So it’s about establishing who needs to train, who needs to rest and how many players do we need to do the work we want to do in preparing for the Queens Park Rangers game.’

It’s been a solid start to the league campaign by Di Matteo’s side, with three successive wins ensuring we top the table as we prepare to return to league action.

Saturday sees us make the short trip to take on Mark Hughes’s side at Loftus Road, but while preparations ahead of such an important game need to be meticulous, the first game back after an international break, as Holland explains, is often one of the most difficult to prepare for.

‘It’s very difficult, without a doubt,’ he says. ‘We’ve been helped by internationals being moved from Wednesday night to Tuesday night. It might not sound much, but that extra one day makes a big difference.

‘When they played internationals on a Wednesday, the players wouldn’t come back until a Thursday afternoon, bearing in mind they’re flying in from all over the world, not just Europe.

‘So, on a Thursday, all you would be doing is touching base with them, which means you only have one day – the Friday – to prepare for a Saturday game.

‘That’s better now in that we can allow the players to recover and then have two days to prepare for the QPR game. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than it was, and it’s the same for everybody.’


Frank Lampard scored his third international goal in five days to rescue a home point for England and Branislav Ivanovic continued his prolific start to the season. He was on-target in a big win for Serbia.

Both Chelsea men were playing their second qualification matches for the next World Cup and Lampard was the only Chelsea player in the starting line-up against Ukraine, England looking to follow up a good win in Moldova.

Manager Roy Hodgson preferred Phil Jagielka to Gary Cahill as the replacement for injured John Terry. Daniel Sturridge had recovered from the stomach cramps two days earlier so was on the bench, as was Ryan Bertrand.

England had the ball in the Wembley net first through Jermain Defoe but the goal was ruled out for a minor infringement. Instead it was Ukraine who went in ahead at the interval thanks to a sweetly struck long-range goal.

The home side had chances but they were spurned and Sturridge was introduced with 69 minutes played, Bertrand coming on four minutes later for his second cap. When Sturridge centred the ball with nine minutes remaining, another sub, Danny Welbeck struck a post.

Time was running out fast when Bertrand did very well to volley the ball into the danger zone from a wide position and as Welbeck juggled it, Ukraine handled.

Lampard fired in his second penalty of this international break for his 26th England goal. There were four minutes left on the clock which was enough time for Steven Gerrard to be sent-off for a second yellow card before the match ended 1-1.

In contrast to their goalless draw against Scotland on Saturday, Serbia, captained by Ivanovic, had no trouble finding the net at home to Wales. They won 6-1 with the Chelsea defender scoring the fifth goal – a left-footer from the edge of the area. He has seven goals from 54 international appearances.


Belgium followed up their win in Wales in their opening qualifier with a home draw against Croatia. Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois both started. Kevin De Bruyne was introduced with 72 minutes played.

Fernando Torres, who won his 100th cap for Spain on Friday, remained on the bench for their 1-0 win away in Geogia. Valencia’s Roberto Soldado was selected instead and he scored a late winner in what was the world champion’s opening qualifier.

Yossi Benayoun played in Israel’s 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Russia. With Petr Cech rested, Czech Republic lost 1-0 in a friendly against Finland.


Chelsea has been named European Club of the Year 2012 by the organisation representing the leading clubs across the continent.

The European Club Association (ECA) announced that the award recognises our outstanding achievement during the 2011/12 season on European and domestic level. It was presented at the ECA’s General Assembly which is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.

Chelsea is one of the member clubs of the ECA which is the independent body that replaced the G14 Group and the European Club Forum when both were dissolved at the beginning of 2008. It is fully recognized by UEFA and FIFA.

The ECA awards were introduced in 2010 with the aim of rewarding outstanding club performances, encouraging best practice and highlighting successful club management.