Where now for Roman's Empire? Champions League glory the dream springboard for Chelsea's next chapter

The Blues billionaire owner has plenty of decisions to make ahead of next season, with his side's victory in Munich set to start the next stage of his Stamford Bridge revolution
By Wayne Veysey in Munich

The sunglasses were out in force in Marienplatz, Munich's main market square, the morning after the quite epic night before.

But they were not just used as instruments to shield eyes from the radiant sunshine. Thousands of replica-shirted Chelsea fans, many of whom had enjoyed only a few hours of sleep, were nursing bleary eyes following the mother of all parties.

However, waking up in the knowledge that your team are conquerors of Europe is a better hangover cure than most.

Some supporters sipped coffees quietly in the pavement cafes dotted around the square. Others, perhaps half, opted for the hair of the dog and continued where they had left off only a few hours earlier.

Bayern Munich fans milled around, reflecting on what might have been, and prepared to get back on with their lives. The febrile atmosphere of the night before had given way to solemnity, although many Germans sportingly patted their opposing fans on the back and smirkingly pledged revenge.

The size of Chelsea's achievement was slowly sinking in. The 'beautiful trophy with the big ears', as Jose Mourinho called it, was being passed around a luxury Munich hotel by grinning Chelsea staffers before the party boarded a lunchtime flight back to London for a special party in their own backyard.

Even Roman Abramovich larked around, donning blue sunglasses on the open-top bus ride that took Chelsea around a few posh addresses in west London.

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And well he might. The mysterious Russian had spent more than £1 billion during his nine-year pursuit of the club's holy grail.

Mission accomplished. Job done. What now? Abramovich has looked a content and sated billionaire over the last 24 hours but he did not amass his vast fortune by getting complacent.

We are told that he is in it for the long haul and can assume, therefore, that the first European Cup in Chelsea's history will be regarded as a glorious springboard, rather than the finishing line.

Pressing issues await the executives in Roman's empire. The manager who has won the Champions League and FA Cup during the most glorious caretaker spell in the sport's history goes on holiday not knowing whether to make preparations for pre-season or order his agent to begin touting him for new assignments.

If Roberto Di Matteo is to be stood down, and, ludicrous as it may be, there remains a possibility he will, a replacement needs to be in place by July 9, when Chelsea's non-Euro 2012 combatants report back for training.

The shape of the 2012-13 front line will dominate thinking at Stamford Bridge in the forthcoming days.

Just as Didier Drogba was completing what appeared to be the fondest of farewells out on the pitch where he secured the trophy, Fernando Torres lobbed a hand grenade under the club's summer plans.

Chelsea manager says Champions League triumph was a “great team effort”
Seemingly oblivious to Drogba's brilliance over the last 10 weeks and his own ineptitude for most of his 16 months at Chelsea, the Spaniard declared that he had been poorly treated by the club and he would be seeking talks to determine his future.

Drogba is due to begin contract negotiations this week but the feeling is that he has kicked his last ball for the club and will imminently announce a move to China.

Of the other golden oldies, Frank Lampard and John Terry will play major roles again next season but Florent Malouda, Paulo Ferreira, Jose Bosingwa and even Michael Essien are likely to follow Drogba out of the exit door.

There are also the contract situations of Daniel Sturridge and Ashley Cole to address, both of whom have only a year remaining on their deals.

There is no chance of the board getting bored, it appears. Club chiefs will press ahead with plans to re-locate to Battersea as well as using the new 'kings of Europe' status to secure enhanced commercial deals.

Having tasted the champagne of elite success, Abramovich will not want to lower his standards and settle for sparkling wine.The Russian will surely demand a dynasty, the kind that will provide an even more substantial payout from his investment.

The unhappy dressing room  that Di Matteo inherited from Andre Villas-Boas will have been noted, but Abramovich's search for fantasy football goes on.

The expectation will be of a far more eye-catching brand of football than we have seen from his team in the final rounds of this season's Champions League.Winning is wonderful. But winning in style? Now that would be another dream come true.

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