John Terry says nine years of UEFA Champions League heartache was 'completely wiped away' after Chelsea finally lifted the trophy on Saturday night.
Even Terry's own disappointment at his self-inflicted suspension for Saturday night's epic triumph over Bayern Munich vanished as he and stand-in captain Frank Lampard hoisted aloft the biggest prize in club football against all the odds.
It ended an odyssey both Terry and Roman Abramovich had set out on when the latter bought Chelsea in 2003 and an obsession the club had arguably had since they were denied entry to the inaugural European Cup in 1955.
Describing it as his greatest moment in football, Terry said: "Incredible feeling. I've waited so long for it and for it to finally be here wipes away all those bad memories.
"Year after year, we've had some, but that completely wipes it away.
"For me, that's what we strived for."
Terry has been Chelsea captain for all nine of their attempts to win the Champions League under billionaire owner Abramovich, suffering four semi-final defeats and an agonising loss in the 2008 final when the defender missed a penalty to win the game.
He added: "Eight, nine years, I've been waiting for this.
"Being knocked out of competitions in the last minute, losing on penalties before in Moscow and losing against Liverpool, that's something that lived with me.
"But, all of a sudden, a big weight is off my shoulders and probably everyone within this football club."
Terry's team-mate David Luiz, who scored during the nail-biting penalty shoot-out that sealed Chelsea's victory, feels the success has proved a point to the critics who have targeted the club this season.
"All season, guys tried to kill Chelsea, speaking about old players and (saying) the young players don't have the experience," he said.
"Now Chelsea have shown the whole world who Chelsea are."