Chelsea FC veterans Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, and John Terry will be facing against an ex-teammate again when the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Atletico Madrid kicks off. Tiago Mendes, or just Tiago, played at Chelsea FC for a single season in 2004-05 when he joined the club from Portuguese giants Benfica. He was a fine player who was a midfield giant for Jose Mourinho but unfortunately he did not want to stay at Stamford Bridge. After winning the Premier League title, Tiago moved to French club Lyon and began a journeyman career throughout Europe.
Petr Cech on Tiago:
“He was a nice guy. He was a team player and he was someone who everybody at the club liked. We were all sad when he left so it will be nice to see him again. The best memory I have of playing with Tiago was that goal he scored at Old Trafford from 30 yards out which went straight into the top corner. That was an absolutely unbelievable goal and it came from nowhere really.”
Tiago moved to Italy to join Juventus after his spell at Lyon. He faced Chelsea and his old teammates in a Champions League round of 16 tie in 2009. He moved to Atletico Madrid on loan in 2010 and after impressing at the Vicente Calderon, they made the move permanent and he has been there ever since.
Frank Lampard on Tiago:
“I’ve been very impressed with him this year. He’s a very good player and of course we know him well from here. He’s very complete – he’s got a bit of everything as a midfield player. He’s a great lad as well. We had a very good time and a very successful time when he was here and no wonder, because he was a very good lad and a very good player. We are very aware of what he can do and we’ll have to watch him amongst all the others.”
Tiago is an experienced and versatile midfielder who may not be the most prolific in front of goal but can be dangerous from distance. His knowledge of Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho may come in handy for Atletico but Lampard and Cech likely know him just as well.
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