Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo admits the club would have struggled to attract the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar had they not conquered Europe last season.
The Blues' astonishing UEFA Champions League triumph back in May not only saw them end their agonising wait for success on the continent but also allowed them to avoid the ignominy of failing to qualify for this season's competition.
Hazard revealed before signing for Chelsea that their victory over Bayern Munich had convinced him to choose them over Manchester United and Manchester City, while fellow playmaker Oscar would doubtless also have thought twice about joining a club that were not in the Champions League.
Di Matteo agrees, saying: "They want to be involved in the biggest club competition in the world so it would have been extremely difficult to attract these players."
Chelsea's win was equally vital in convincing Roman Abramovich to hand then caretaker manager Di Matteo a two-year contract but the Italian dismissed this.
"No, no - it was never about myself," he said, also playing down what his success meant for the image of the club around the world.
"What's important for us is that it gave us the opportunity to be involved in it this season and to try and defend the title as well.
"In terms of how the external environment sees us, I don't know.
"We are not really looking back. We are trying to live in the present and future.
"There's always new challenges every season.
"A club like Chelsea will always try to win trophies and be successful.
"It's not looking back at what you achieved - that's done and dusted."
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed a manager must win the Champions League more than once to be remembered as one of the great sides.
"I always have respect for what Sir Alex has to say," said Di Matteo.
"Certainly, to win it is very important. But how many times you have to win it to be remembered, I'm not sure."