Chelsea Team Profile – Club History, Players, Managers & More

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This is the complete profile for Chelsea Football Club – one of the biggest teams in English football today. Check out the club’s history, players, records, managers and plenty more. We hope that you find out guide to Chelsea FC useful.

Chelsea Logo & History

Chelsea logo

When Gus Mears acquired the old athletics stadium at Stamford Bridge in West London in 1904, he offered to lease it to Fulham FC. They turned his offer down, so he decided to form his own football club and Chelsea, the name of the adjacent borough, was born the following year. Early on, the team bounced between the First and Second Divisions.

Not a lot of people know this, but the first Chelsea home kit was a green jersey rather than the blue we see them play in today. Bringing success to their West London base proved difficult during the interwar period. The 1954-55 season proved a breakthrough, though, with Chelsea winning their first league championship. It would be another 50 years before they lifted that trophy again, however.

Despite some successes in domestic cup competitions, Chelsea FC endured relegation in 1975 and again 1979, creating their longest spell outside the top flight since 1930. There was a real danger of dropping down to the Third Division, but they staved that off. Chelsea have been in the top tier of English football continuously since 1989.

After becoming one of the established Premier League teams, they have experienced their most successful period with overseas ownership and investment helping them to attract top players from the early 2000s onwards. The current Chelsea badge and club crest came in during 2005 as part of their centenary celebrations. After adding more league titles, the Blues became champions of Europe for the first time in 2012.

Chelsea Kit

The Chelsea shirt for home games is blue and players wear matching shorts with white socks. This is where the club’s modern nickname of the Blues comes from. With each passing season there’s a different Chelsea away kit, but jerseys and shorts that are predominantly black, white or yellow have been popular change strips.

Club Honours

  • Premier League / First Division – 6 times: 1954-55, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15, 2016-17
  • EFL Championship / Second Division – twice: 1983-94, 1988-89
  • Other Top Flight Promotions – 5 times: 1906-07, 1911-12, 1929-30, 1962-63, 1976-77
  • FA Cup8 times: 1969-70, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2017-18
  • EFL Cup / League Cup – 5 times: 1964-65, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15
  • FA Community Shield / Charity Shield – 4 times: 1955, 2000, 2005, 2009
  • UEFA Champions Leaguetwice: 2011-12, 2020-21
  • UEFA Europa Leaguetwice: 2012-13, 2018-19
  • UEFA Super Cup – twice: 1998, 2021
  • UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup / European Cup Winners’ Cup – twice: 1970-71, 1997-98
  • FIFA Club World Cuponce: 2021

Those two Chelsea Champions League wins were the culmination of ambitious and ruthless owner Roman Abramovich. Most of the silverware the club has enjoyed came during his time in West London. Five Premier League titles and as many FA Cup triumphs, plus three League Cup crowns and two Europa League wins leave a strong legacy.

Current Chelsea Odds & Betting

Give the expensively assembled squad at Chelsea F.C. over recent years and past teams, they are often prominent on Premier League betting sites and bookies’ markets on that and other competitions. The Blues are often popular with punters as well. Here are the latest Chelsea betting odds for domestic and continental competitions:

Competition Best Chelsea Odds Bookmaker
Premier League 37/2 SBK logo
FA Cup 13/2 Bet365 logo
EFL Cup 10/1 logo parimatch
Champions League 20/1 logo betway
 All prices correct as of 14:30 BST on Tuesday, 16 August 2022.

Chelsea Squad

The Chelsea team today is a far cry from the one battling to establish itself in the top flight around 35 years ago. Like every club, they have their legends and more on those later. These are the Chelsea football players in and around the current first team picture by position:

Chelsea Goalkeeper Options

Great goalies to play for the club include Peter Bonetti for much of the 1960s and 1970s, then in more recent years Ed de Goey, Carlo Cudcini and Petr Cech. These are the Chelsea players vying for a starting spot between the posts today:

  • 1. Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spain)
  • 13. Marcus Bettinelli (England)
  • 16. Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

Chelsea Defenders

When thinking about defence, thoughts immediately turn two Blues greats who had the honour of being Chelsea captain for a long time in different eras. No-nonsense centre halves Ron Harris and John Terry are both true club legends. At full back, Steve Clarke and Ashley Cole are among the Blues great. Here are the current defenders at the club:

  • 3. Marcos Alonso (Spain)
  • 6. Thiago Silva (Brazil)
  • 14. Trevor Chalobah (England)
  • 21. Ben Chilwell (England)
  • 24. Reece James (England)
  • 26. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)
  • 28. Cesar Azpiliceuta (Spain)
  • 32. Marc Cucurella (Spain)
  • 33. Emerson Palmieri (Italy)
  • NA. Ethan Ampadu (Wales)
  • NA. Baba Rahman (Ghana)

Chelsea Midfielders

Some of the biggest Blues icons operated in the middle of the park. We’re talking about John Hollins, Ray Wilkins, Dennis Wise and Claude Makelele here. Further forward, the likes of Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard were prolific from advanced midfield areas. These are the current Chelsea football players in the engine room of lineups today:

  • 5. Jorginho (Italy)
  • 7. N’Golo Kante (France)
  • 8. Mateo Kovacic (Crotatia)
  • 12. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (England)
  • 19. Mason Mount (England)
  • 23. Conor Gallagher (England)
  • 30. Carney Chukwuemeka (England)
  • NA. Ross Barkley (England)
  • NA. Billy Gilmour (Scotland)

Chelsea Strikers & Forwards

Remember these great attacking players at Chelsea FC down the years? From Roy Bentley, Kerry Dixon, Jimmy Greaves,  Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling through to Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Didier Drogba, there have been some prolific forwards at the Blues. These are the ones in the Chelsea squad right now:

  • 10. Christian Pulisic (USA)
  • 17. Raheem Sterling (England)
  • 18. Armando Broja (Albania)
  • 20. Callum Hudson-Odoi (England)
  • 22. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)
  • 29. Kai Havertz (Germany)
  • NA. Michy Batshuayi (Belgium)
  • NA. Kenedy (Brazil)

Chelsea Players with Most Appearances

To get on the all-time top 10 list for most Chelsea F.C. appearances, a player has to have turned out 420 times or more for the club. That high threshold doesn’t include anyone from before 1960 either. Here are the players with most outings for the Blues:

Rank Player Name Years League Games FA Cup Matches League Cup Appearances European Games Other Matches Total
1 Ron Harris 1961-1980 655 64 48 27 1 795
2 Peter Bonetti 1959-1975 & 1976-1979 600 57 45 26 1 729
3 John Terry 1998-2017 492 58 37 124 6 717
4 Frank Lampard 2001-2014 429 58 34 117 10 648
5 John Hollins 1963-1875 & 1983-1984 465 51 48 27 1 592
6 Petr Cech 2004-2015 333 33 17 103 8 494
7 Cesar Azpilicueta 2012-present 326 38 30 75 9 478
8 Dennis Wise 1990-2001 332 38 30 38 7 445
9 Steve Clarke 1987-1998 330 36 26 12 17 421
10 Kerry Dixon 1983-1992 335 20 41 0 24 420
 All-time appearances list correct as of Tuesday, 16 August 2022.

All-Time Chelsea Top Scorers

Only two Chelsea players have over 200 goals in competitive games for the club. Bobby Tambling still holds the record for most in the league. Frank Lampard is the Blues’ leading marksman in the FA Cup, while the League Cup record belongs to Kerry Dixon. Didier Drogba heads Chelsea top scorers in Europe. Here are the top 10 across all competitions:

Rank Player Name Years League Goals FA Cup Goals League Cup Goals European Goals Other Goals Total 
1 Frank Lampard 2001-2014 147 26 12 25 1 211
2 Bobby Tambling 1959-1970 164 25 10 3 0 202
3 Kerry Dixon 1983-1992 147 8 25 0 13 193
4 Didier Drogba 2004-2012 & 2014-2015 104 12 10 36 2 164
5= Roy Bentley 1948-1956 128 21 0 0 1 150
5= Peter Osgood 1964-1974 & 1978-1979 105 19 10 16 0 150
7 Jimmy Greaves 1957-1961 124 3 2 3 0 132
8 George Mills 1929-1943 118 7 0 0 0 125
9 Eden Hazard 2012-2019 85 5 8 11 1 110
10 George Hilsdon 1906-1912 99 9 0 0 0 108

Biggest Chelsea Signings & Transfers

Seeing a big Chelsea transfer or two, either in or out of the club, has become commonplace over the last 20 years. The recruitment policy really cranked up a notch when Abramovich took over as owner. That has continued since his enforced sale of the Blues to the consortium led by Todd Boehly.

10 Most Expensive Chelsea Transfers

Time and again in the Abramovich era, the club smashed its transfer record. Chelsea FC are big spenders then and now with American investment sure to eventually match the Russian oligarch’s from the previous regime. Here are the Blues’ 10 biggest inbound transfers to West London:

Rank Player Name Year Signed Club Signed From Reported Fee
1 Romelu Lukaku 2021 Inter Milan £97,500,000
2 Kepa Arrizabalaga 2018 Athletic Bilbao £76,100,000
3 Kai Havertz 2020 Bayer Leverkusen £71,000,000
4= Alvaro Morata 2017 Real Madrid £58,000,000
4= Christian Pulisic 2019 Borussia Dortmund £58,000,000
6 Jorginho 2018 Napoli £57,000,000
7 Marc Cucurella 2022 Brighton & Hove Albion £55,000,000
8= Fernando Torres 2011 Liverpool £50,000,000
8= Ben Chilwell 2020 Leicester City £50,000,000
10 Timo Werner 2020 Red Bull Leipzig £47,600,000

Club’s 10 Most Expensive Sales

For all the big Chelsea signings down the years, the club has also let some great talents leave – for the right price. Not among the top list of biggest Blues sales below are Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Mohammed Salah, who have starred for other Premier League sides and abroad:

Rank Player Name Year Sold Club Sold To Reported Fee
1 Eden Hazard 2019 Real Madrid £89,000,000
2 Oscar 2017 Shanghai £60,000,000
3 Alvaro Morata 2019 Atletico Madrid £58,000,000
4 Diego Costa 2017 Atletico Madrid £57,000,000
5 David Luiz 2014 Paris Saint-Germain £50,000,000
6 Nemanja Matic 2017 Manchester United £40,000,000
7 Juan Mata 2014 Manchester United £37,100,000
8 Thibaut Courtois 2018 Real Madrid £35,000,000
9 Tammy Abraham 2021 Roma £34,000,000
10 Kurt Zouma 2021 West Ham United £29,800,000

Chelsea Managers List – Head Coaches Past & Present

Being Blues boss is one of the toughest gigs in world football. Chelsea managers may win the Premier League title, a domestic cup or European honour one season and get the sack during the next. There was precious little loyalty to head coaches during Abramovich’s ownership.

Some of the top tacticians in the game like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte have been in charge in West London. The current Chelsea manager is Thomas Tuchel but here’s the full list of first team bosses:

  • John Tait Robertson (1905-1906)*
  • William Lewis (1906-1907)^
  • David Calderhead (1907-1933)
  • Leslie Knighton (1933-1939)
  • Billy Birrell (1939-1952)
  • Ted Drake (1952-1961)
  • Tommy Docherty (1961-1967)
  • Ron Suart (1967)~
  • Dave Sexton (1967-1974)
  • Ron Suart (1974-1975)^
  • Eddie McCreadie (1975-1977)
  • Ken Shellito (1977-1978)
  • Danny Blanchflower (1978-1979)
  • Geoff Hurst (1979-1981)
  • >Bobby Gould (1981)~
  • John Neal (1981-1985)
  • John Hollins (1985-1988)
  • Bobby Campbell (1988-1991)
  • Ian Porterfield (1991-1993)
  • David Webb (1993)^
  • Glenn Hoddle (1993-1996)*
  • Rudd Gullit (1996-1998)*
  • Gianluca Vialli (1998-2000)*
  • Claudio Ranieri (2000-2004)
  • Jose Mourinho (2004-2007)
  • Avram Grant (2007-2008)
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari (2008-2009)
  • Guus Hiddink (2009)^
  • Carlo Ancelotti (2009-2011)
  • Andrea Villas-Boas (2011-2012)
  • Roberto Di Matteo (2012)
  • Rafa Benitez (2012-2013)^
  • Jose Mourinho (2013-2015)
  • Steve Holland (2015)~
  • Guus Hiddink (2015-2016)^
  • Antonio Conte (2016-2018)
  • Maurizio Sarri (2018-2019)
  • Frank Lampard (2019-2021)
  • Thomas Tuchel (2021-present)
* Player-manager, ^ Interim manager, ~ Caretaker manager.

Chelsea Stadium – Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC home ground Stamford Bridge

All of the Chelsea FC fixtures played at home are at Stamford Bridge. This part of Fulham shares its name after a famous battle during the Norman Conquest, although that took place up in Yorkshire. For over a century now, the Blues have welcomed opposition to this ground with the last renovation work done in 1998.

Chelsea have been conflicted about moving away from Stamford Bridge, their home from the very beginning in 1905, due to the expense involved. Even redeveloping the site and renovating their ground will prove costly to the club due to its London location.

Chelsea Rivalries

There are plenty of football clubs in West London, so there have been plenty of local Chelsea matches down the years. That by extension also applies to the British capital in general. Some of the club’s biggest rivalries are with with London teams but from other parts of the city.

London Derbies

There are several London derbies both involving Chelsea FC and between other clubs. Let’s take a look at their most local rivals first:

Arsenal vs Chelsea

With a first meeting dating back to 1907, Chelsea vs Arsenal is always one of the big games in English football. These two have met in both domestic cup and European competition finals this century. The Gunners have never beaten the Blues in a Champions League or Europa League encounter.

It’s a different story with Chelsea results in the league and FA Cup against Arsenal, though. The North London team have clearly had the better of head-to-heads down the decades. This is how they stand on all previous competitive meetings:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Arsenal Wins
League Games 54 50 66
FA Cup Matches 5 6 10
League Cup Games 4 1 3
European Matches 2 1 0
Other Games 1 1 1
Total 66 59 80

Chelsea vs Tottenham

The Chelsea vs Spurs rivalry centres on the 1967 FA Cup final but they first met much earlier than that in 1909. Tottenham Hotspur are based in North London, so Arsenal are their fiercest rivals.

However, Spurs vs Chelsea still has its fair share of spice and they have contested two League Cup finals this century winning one apiece. The overall head-to-head has the Blues ahead in the Tottenham vs Chelsea rivalry as this table shows:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Tottenham Wins
League Games 64 38 47
FA Cup Matches 6 2 4
League Cup Games 7 3 3
Total 77 43 54

Brentford vs Chelsea

We haven’t seen too much of the Chelsea vs Brentford rivalry but these two West London clubs are just six miles apart as the crow flies. As the table below indicates, the Bees and Blues are well-matched on rare league encounters. Brentford have never beaten Chelsea in a cup competition yet, however:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Brentford Wins
League Games 6 1 5
FA Cup Matches 2 1 0
League Cup Games 1 0 0
Total 9 2 5

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

The rivalry between the Blues and Crystal Palace is relatively friendly. On occasion, Chelsea football players have moved to Selhurst Park and vice versa. This is what the Crystal Palace vs Chelsea head-to-heads tell us. It’s rare when the Eagles win, although the South London side have been able to frustrate their opponents with plenty of league draws in fixtures:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Crystal Palace Wins
League Games 28 14 8
FA Cup Matches 3 1 2
League Cup Games 0 0 1
Total 31 15 11

West Ham vs Chelsea

They may be at opposite ends of London but Chelsea vs West Ham United is a fixture with plenty of history behind it. Traditionally, the Blues struggle on a cross-Capital trip to the Hammers. This trend has continued since West Ham moved from Upton Park to the London Stadium.

Some great Chelsea players like Frank Lampard and Joe Cole started with the Hammers too. Taking talent across the Capital to Stamford Bridge may explain why the Blues hold the edge in league and FA Cup head-to-heads:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws West Ham Wins
League Games 45 21 40
FA Cup Matches 5 1 1
League Cup Games 1 0 2
Total 51 22 43

Chelsea vs Fulham

The most local of all Chelsea fixtures possible is playing Fulham FC. It’s only a two-mile walk from Stamford Bridge towards the River Thames to Craven Cottage. For all their dominance in league meetings, the Blues have found domestic cup clashes with Fulham trickier:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Fulham Wins
League Games 45 22 7
FA Cup Matches 2 2 2
League Cup Games 2 2 0
Total 49 26 9

Watford vs Chelsea

Past Chelsea games with Watford have gone pretty well. As the head-to-head record shows, the Blues have lost just 10 games in league and cup to the Hornets. While Watford isn’t strictly within Greater London, it does fall within the M25, another traditional boundary between the capital and the Home Counties. These are the Chelsea vs Watford head-to-head stats:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Watford Wins
League Games 18 5 9
FA Cup Matches 5 1 1
League Cup Games 0 0 0
Total 23 6 10

Chelsea vs QPR

It’s less than four miles as the crow flies between Stamford Bridge and Loftus Road, the home ground of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in Shepherd’s Bush. These two first met in the late 1960s and there isn’t much in it based on league head-to-heads. There has been the odd surprising Chelsea score in this fixture with the rivalry frankly meaning more to QPR fans:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws QPR Wins
League Games 17 16 13
FA Cup Matches 4 1 1
League Cup Games 1 1 1
Total 22 18 15

Other Domestic Rivalries

The feuds making the biggest Chelsea news aren’t necessarily London derbies. Far from it in fact. For much of the Premier League era, fellow challengers for the title and other domestic and European honours have been in another hotbed of football, the Northwest.

Chelsea vs Man United

Manchester United were once the dominant force in English football. Arsenal had challenged that but, for most of the 2000s, the Blues were also bang in content. Chelsea vs Man Utd became a showpiece fixture both at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford as a result. It wasn’t just a big game in the Premier League either.

Man U vs Chelsea was the first FA Cup final to take place at Wembley after the national stadium’s renovation in 2007. That went to the Blues. Man United vs Chelsea was also the UEFA Champions League final the following year. It ended in heartbreak for the Londoners with John Terry’s infamous slip during a tense penalty shootout.

Chelsea vs Man U is a rivalry the Blues have only had the best of at certain points in the last 20 years. As the head-to-head history shows below, it’s the Red Devils that have had the better of things long-term. Man Utd vs Chelsea remains a must-see match:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Man Utd Wins
League Games 45 52 63
FA Cup Matches 6 2 9
League Cup Games 2 1 3
European Matches 0 1 2
Other Games 1 3 1
Total 54 59 78

Liverpool vs Chelsea

Anyone watching football in the mid-2000s will tell you how fierce the Chelsea vs Liverpool rivalry got when the sides kept meeting at the business end of cup and European competitions. From ghost goals to other drama and players like Fernando Torres and Joe Cole moving between the clubs, the Blues and Reds just didn’t get on.

As past Chelsea fixtures with Liverpool FC show, they have taken plenty of the Anfield rap from the Merseysiders. The Reds hold a clear advantage in previous league head-to-heads but the better of domestic cup clashes go to the Blues. There’s virtually nothing in it from past European encounters as this table shows:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Liverpool Wins
League Games 51 37 70
FA Cup Matches 7 1 4
League Cup Games 4 2 3
European Matches 3 6 2
Other Games 0 0 1
Total 65 46 80

Chelsea vs Man City

A second Chelsea Champions League final win came over Manchester City in 2021. Their first meeting was way back in 1907, though, ending in a 2-2 draw. Critics of these two clubs who play at home in blue will say they have bought their way to the top.

Man City vs Chelsea is a feud today as a result of the big spending both teams have done. The Londoners have had the better of league and European meetings, while the Manchester side hold a clear edge in FA Cup and Community Shield clashes. Here is the complete head-to-head between these two:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Man City Wins
League Games 62 39 53
FA Cup Matches 2 0 4
League Cup Games 1 1 1
European Matches 3 0 0
Other Games 0 0 2
Total 69 40 60

Chelsea vs Everton

Liverpool aren’t the only club on Merseyside that have history with Chelsea. There is also Everton, a grand old team. The Toffees have a similar home kit. Both have been champions of English football at one time, so Everton vs Chelsea has plenty of history to it. Both clubs have been managed by Carlo Ancelotti. Other than one Community Shield defeat, the Blues hold a clear advantage over the Toffees:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Everton Wins
League Games 62 51 54
FA Cup Matches 6 3 3
League Cup Games 7 2 0
European Matches 0 0 0
Other Games 0 0 1
Total 75 56 58

Chelsea vs Leeds United

Outside of the Northwest, there is one other club that Chelsea really don’t get on with and it’s Leeds. The West Yorkshire team share a chairman with the Blues in Ken Bates and a bitter rivalry which dates back to the Don Revie era at Elland Road. While Leeds United vs Chelsea is a fixture that has been kind to the Blues in cup competition, they trail the league head-to-head:

Competition Chelsea Wins Draws Leeds Wins
League Games 29 26 39
FA Cup Matches 5 3 0
League Cup Games 3 1 0
Total 37 30 39

European Rivalries

The Blues aren’t without rivals on the continent either. Some fans will think of Bayern Munich from the German Bundesliga but most of Chelsea’s beef in Europe has been with Spanish or Italian sides. These opponents have been of particular interest:

Chelsea vs Villarreal

The 2021 UEFA Super Cup between the Blues and Spanish La Liga team Villarreal, nicknamed the Yellow Submarine, went to a tense penalty shootout. This Chelsea game went their way with a victory by six spot kicks to five.

Real Madrid vs Chelsea

Did you know that the Blues have only lost once to the mighty Real Madrid in seven European encounters? They first met in the Cup Winners’ Cup final back in 1971 when a replay was needed to determine the champions. Chelsea vs Real Madrid has also been the UEFA Super Cup final in 1998. It’s only in recent seasons that the Blues and Los Blancos collided in Champions League action, though.

Chelsea vs Lille

Try as they might, French Ligue 1 outfit Lille just haven’t been able to beat Chelsea. These sides have met four times since 2019 and the Blues have won all meetings. The likes of Eden Hazard and Joe Cole have placed for both clubs.

Barcelona vs Chelsea

Often the hottest Chelsea match of all in Europe, Catalan giants FC Barcelona first faced them in the Fairs Cup of that great footballing year 1966. From Ronaldinho’s toe poke to John Terry getting sent off, their Champions League head-to-head is deadlocked at four wins each and six draws from 14 matches.

Chelsea vs Juventus

One of the true heavyweight Italian Serie A teams, Juventus are another European foe for the Blues where there’s nothing in it. The Old Lady have a couple of wins, plus two draws and as many defeats in six previous encounters.

Juventus vs Chelsea is a fixture that would light up both Turin and West London. Juve may mean youth in Latin, yet they’ve had their own cult heroes. With so many Italian connections at the Blues, when Juventus come to Stamford Bridge there’s a great atmosphere.

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Jamie Clark (@JamieClarkSport) edited Coral bookmakers’ digital platforms for a number of years with great success before forging a successful freelance career as a tipster. Growing up in an equine environment, Jamie is never afraid to take on the favourite and focuses on value. He is now sourcing you winners at SportsLens from the best of the British and Irish horse racing action.