Chelsea duo chasing glory
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Carlo Cudicini has admitted he is struggling to recover from injury as Marco Ambrosio looks to grasp his opportunity of glory with Chelsea.
The two Italian keepers are overjoyed that Claudio Ranieri's men are marching towards the UEFA Champions League final - with Monaco standing in their way of a date with destiny in Gelsenkirchen - after a splendid win at Arsenal in the quarter finals of Europe's most prestigious competition.
Cudicini's injury has allowed Ambrosio his spell in the limelight and, although there is friendly rivalry between the duo, they are both delighted to be fighting for Ranieri and the Chelsea cause.
"Effectively, I don't think I'll be able (to recover from the injury) and I'm happy for Marco," Cudicini told Corriere dello Sport. "That, after the first criticisms, he had revenge and could show he is a good keeper.
"We are in a decisive moment of the season and it is not a pleasure being out.
"The team obtained a deserved semi-final in a difficult season, for many reasons. Now we aim to end it in a big way."
Ambrosio can barely believe the way his career has finally taken off after so long in the shadows.
"It's surely the most important moment of my career," said the former Chievo man.
"It seems to have showed I can cope with certain levels, especially from the pyschological point of view, with the big pressure there was in the European challenge with Arsenal.
"If I haven't burst through before, it means I wasn't ready.
"I live this magic moment day-by-day, like Ranieri teaches us.
"He's been great for the good work he's making and because he never put any weight on us for the situation that still sees him under discussion.
"(Roman) Abramovich? After the match, he came with us to celebrate and offered his congratulations. He was really happy.
"The regular keeper is Carlo. There is no discussion about this.
"A semi-final each? It wouldn't be bad. We would both be content!"