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The Blues were rewarded for their stunning victory on penalties against Bayern Munich in May with the prestigious title, given to them by the European Club Association

Chelsea has been rewarded for its Champions League win last season by being crowned the European Club of the Year by the European Club Association.

Roberto Di Matteo led his men to an amazing victory on penalties against Bayern Munich in the German giants' own back yard, and their inaugural European trophy has been praised further after being given this title.

The Blues were handed the award on Monday from their respective peers at the third annual ECA Awards at the Association's General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Di Matteo's side was disappointing in the league, finishing sixth, and it would have been forced into the Europa League was it not for its penalty heroics against Bayern.

Nevertheless, the club was "recognized for their outstanding achievement during the 2011-12 season on a European and domestic level," according to a statement.

Chelsea is one of the teams that makes up the ECA, the independent body that replaced it's predecessor - the G14 Group and the European Club Forum - when both were dissolved in 2008.

The first ECA awards were introduced in 2010, designed with the aim of "rewarding outstanding club performances, encouraging best practice and highlighting successful club management."

The award represents yet more good news for the Blues, whose double last season has been followed up by a perfect start to this season's Premier League campaign.

And despite a disappointing 4-1 loss to last season's Europa League winners Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup, plenty of early-season optimism around the club will only be reinforced with this latest achievement.

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