Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa has rubbished claims that the Blues' aging stars are holding the club back, offering the club's success in the Champions League and FA Cup as evidence that it is not the case.
The Portuguese right-back has claimed that, although his side came under heavy criticism during 2011-12 because of the average age of the squad, they still managed to carve out a successful season despite managerial problems throughout the campaign.
He pointed out that former boss Andre Villas-Boas played a big part in installing the belief in the players which never left despite the young boss' departure.
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"They said the team was old, but we overcame all this," Bosingwa told A Bola. "And it ended up being a very positive season."
"He [Villas-Boas] told us we would be European champions."
Team-mate and compatriot Raul Meireles mirrored the opinions of Bosingwa, claiming that Villas-Boas' comments in the wake of their European irst-leg defeat to Napoli revitalised a Chelsea side who were facing the prospect of a disappointing season.
"It was a funny thing. Following the Napoli defeat, he said we would be European champions," Meireles explained.
"We never stopped believing and ended up winning the FA Cup and Champions League."