VINOVO, Italy - Chelsea must win the Champions League for owner Roman Abramovich to believe his project is on track, former coach Claudio Ranieri has said.
Chelsea meet Manchester United in the Moscow final next Wednesday having been beaten to this season's Premier League title by their northern rivals on Sunday.
Ranieri, who led Chelsea to the 2004 semifinals of Europe's elite competition before being sacked, said Russian billionaire Abramovich will demand victory in the club's first Champions League final as he plots European domination.
"I believe in the end Abramovich has been able to reach an objective, to make the final, now he must win it as it is in his mind to carry the team to a higher level," Ranieri, now Juventus coach, said at the Italian club's training ground.
"He has spent a lot, however, it must be said the squad is made up of many champions. In Italy we do not have the economic possibilities of other countries like Spain and England."
The Champions League is very much on Ranieri's mind given Juventus will be back in the competition next term after finishing third in their first season back in Serie A.
They were demoted from the top flight in 2006 for their part in Italy's match-fixing scandal but won immediate promotion under Didier Deschamps. - Reuters