Gary Cahill grateful for good times ahead of Chelsea exit

Gary Cahill has declared Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League triumph as his finest moment at the club as he prepares to leave after seven successful years.

The defender has been a peripheral figure this season but was brought on for the final minutes of Sunday’s 3-0 victory against Watford so that he could make his last appearance at Stamford Bridge, with his contract set to end.

He is unlikely to feature in this week’s fixtures with Eintracht Frankfurt or Leicester, or the Europa League final should they succeed in getting there.

During his time at Chelsea he has won the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup, and he told the club’s official website: “It was a great moment for me to get out there and say goodbye and just thank the supporters for the great career I have had here of mostly ups. It has been fantastic.

“The Champions League in Munich was an amazing night to be part of, to be in the team that enabled Chelsea to win it for the first time was amazing but a very close second for me was the first Premier League I won.

“I have watched this league since I was a kid and I know how hard it is to go out every single week and try to get three points, as you saw in this game in the first half against Watford, so to do that consistently throughout the period of a season and to win the trophy is one of the best feelings as well.”

Former Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah was also handed a rare appearance by visitors Watford, making his first league start since December.

His manager Javi Gracia had been impressed with his performance during the first half and Chalobah told Watford’s official website: “It’s been a very difficult year for me, coming in and out, but I just tried to give everything I can.

“I left it all out there and I blew up after about 50 minutes! It’s always difficult not playing games and that match fitness and sharpness is something you always lack when you don’t get that opportunity.

“But what can I do? The boys been flying this year and you’ve got to look at it that way and keep going.”