Hazard, De Bruyne, Eto'o - Chelsea’s 2013 crossbar challenge shows how many ballers they had


The 2013-14 season was Jose Mourinho’s first campaign back as Chelsea’s manager.

The Portuguese coach made an emotional return to west London, six years after leaving the club, after his tenure at Real Madrid came to an end.

Despite Mourinho’s best efforts, Chelsea failed to win a trophy that season - their first trophyless campaign since 2010-11.

However, the Blues did finish the Premier League season third in the table with 82 points, which was two fewer than second-placed Liverpool and four behind the eventual champions Manchester City.

This was their highest points tally since the 2009-10 season.

Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, losing to Atletico Madrid 3-1 on aggregate in the last four.


Midway through the season, Chelsea’s players took part in Soccer AM’s Crossbar Challenge.

And the video - which has been recommended to football fans in recent weeks - shows just how many ballers Chelsea had on their books at the time.

It’s easy to forget just how many stars were in that seriously talented squad.

Here’s Samuel Eto’o, one of the greatest strikers of his generation.


And here’s Petr Cech, arguably the best goalkeeper of the Premier League era.


Oscar, the gifted Brazilian midfielder who has spent the past few years in China, has a crack.


And so does Ashley Cole, the Premier League’s best-ever left-back.


The world-class Eden Hazard also tried his luck.


As did Juan Mata, who would leave Chelsea for Manchester United weeks after this was filmed.


John Terry obviously had a go.


As did Chelsea’s current manager Frank Lampard, the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.


Willian was there, too.


And so was Kevin De Bruyne, who Chelsea didn’t realise at the time would go on to become the world’s best midfielder.


Most of the attempts were actually pretty rubbish, unfortunately, but you can watch them here if you wish to...

These weren’t the only ballers in Chelsea’s squad at the time.

Fernando Torres was, of course, at the club.


As was Romelu Lukaku, although the Belgian only played a couple of games at the start of the season before he was loaned to Everton.


Andre Schurrle was also there.


And weeks later, Mohamed Salah arrived.


That squad had the makings of a genuinely outstanding team.

It’s a shame we never saw Salah, De Bruyne and Hazard in the same XI together. That really would have been quite something.

That said, none of those players were the finished article back then. All had plenty of maturing to do before they became consistently top-class performers.

Still, Chelsea fans can be forgiven for wondering what might have been.

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