Italian midfielder Jorginho has said Chelsea are "going to give everything" to win the Fifa Club World Cup final and believes a mid-season trophy can drive the team forward for the rest of the campaign.
The Uefa Champions League holders face South American champions Palmeiras in the showpiece at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday. Chelsea defeated Asian Champions League winners Al Hilal to book their place in the final, while Palmeiras beat African champions Al Ahly 2-0 in their semi-final.
“We are only thinking about the game tomorrow and it’s the most important game for us right now,” Jorginho, 30, said at the pre-match conference.
“It’s February and how good can it be to take a trophy home in the middle of the Premier League season? To win trophies is the best thing we can do for our families, for the fans, the club and for everyone.”
The Club World Cup is the only major trophy to elude Chelsea - their previous appearance in the tournament ended with a 1-0 defeat in the 2012 final to Corinthians - and Jorginho insisted the Blues can go one better on Saturday if they are prepared.
“We are going to give everything to bring this cup home because it’s really important to us,” he said. “We have a lot of respect for Palmeiras because it’s not by chance they are here. They have won an important title and in this one game (final) anything can happen.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel arrived in Abu Dhabi on Friday night after recovering from Covid-19 and Jorginho said the German's presence has already given the team a massive boost.
“Of course it gives you more, he’s our manager and there's more energy in the changing room,” he said. “It'll be really important for us if he could be here. It’s unfortunate Thomas wasn’t able to be here to this point. We are in touch with him all the time, even from far away we feel he’s with us.”
Al Hilal v Chelsea player ratings
Chelsea assistant manager Zsolt Low is expecting a tough encounter against Palmeiras and revealed the players have been working to improve on their laboured performance against Al Hilal.
“We are aware how good the Brazilian teams are in this competition but as the European champions I would like to think we go as the favourites,” Low said.
“We assessed our performance against Al Hilal and worked on areas what we can do better in our next game. We also had a long trip and a big time difference to adapt for our first game.”
One major selection decision that Tuchel faces is who to name in goal. Kepa Arrizabalaga was excellent in the win over Hilal, producing a couple of big saves, and the Spaniard has generally excelled in Edouard Mendy's absence while he was helping Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations.
Mendy has now rejoined the squad and as Chelsea's undisputed No 1, is in contention to start against Palmeiras.
“We will leave it to Thomas on who plays in the final,” Low said. “The final decision will be some hours before the game but if we decide for one or the other, the one on the bench has nothing to be worried or sad about. Both goalkeepers had a big performance in the last weeks and this is why it's a question just for this game.”
Meanwhile, Palmeiras manager Abel Ferreira believes his team should have every confidence that they can defeat Chelsea in the Club World Cup final.
“I can say very confidently we can face anyone with the same goal, which is to win,” the Portuguese said. “We are not here because of a draw, but we are here on merit and the quality of work with a lot of dedication. We have worked with a clear focus to reach the final and win. That was our goal since we started preparing for this season.
“My players have the competitiveness, respect and courage that I think would make the difference between the two sides."