Kai Havertz has admitted that he feared becoming a meme when presented with an open goal in Chelsea’s Champions League final clash with Premier League rivals Manchester City.
The Germany international was able to hold his nerve in a European showpiece, with a match-winning effort recorded in the 42nd minute of a heavyweight continental clash.
Havertz did, however, have a few scary thoughts going through his head after bundling the ball beyond City goalkeeper Ederson, with the 22-year-old treading a fine line between hero and villain.
What has been said?
Quizzed by Chelsea’s official website on whether he experienced a few nerves when seeing the goal gaping against City, Havertz said: “Yeah, 100 per cent.
“These moments, they are always the worst, because you think if I miss this one then of course you are on YouTube, on Instagram and in every meme, so I was just thinking: ‘Please, I have to score now’.
“Then, of course, it happened and then these are the best moments in football.”
Is Havertz feeling confident now?
A Champions League-winning goal allowed Havertz to end his debut season at Chelsea on the highest of highs, with a sizeable return being offered on the £70 million ($91m) worth of faith invested in him.
Questions had been asked of that deal early on in 2020-21, on the back of a big-money transfer from Bayer Leverkusen, with a hot prospect taking a while to find his feet in English football.
Havertz has, however, won over his doubters and admits to feeling more settled in west London as more major silverware is eyed up by Thomas Tuchel’s side in the current campaign.
“Of course you get used to it when you play some games, when you have some matches, when you are here in England for some months,” Havertz added on his adjustment to life in new surroundings.
“It’s a different type of football, but I think you get used to it and it was the same for me. After six months it was easier for me and then I settled in very well.
“I feel very good on the pitch and you are more relaxed on the pitch to play. Then, of course, it was getting a little bit better and now I’m used to it and I’m feeling very good.
“Playing by instinct was always one of my strengths in the past, to just play football on the pitch and not to think about things a lot.
“I think also, when you come here with a price tag on your head, everybody expects you to play very good, and if you don’t play very good they start talking. But after six months it was getting better.”