Petr Cech hailed Chelsea's Champions League triumph as a "revolt" against their doubters following his penalty shootout heroics against Bayern Munich.
Cech admitted he was in tears after helping the Blues end their agonising wait for European Cup glory in Saturday night's dramatic final victory at the Allianz Arena as he enjoyed the perfect early 30th birthday present.
Chelsea becoming kings of Europe looked a laughable prospect three months ago after they lost their last-16 first leg against Napoli 3-1.
But they repeatedly defied the doom-mongers before stunning Bayern 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Germans' own stadium.
"It was a kind of revolt against everybody," Cech said. "Because everything was going against us and we didn't have results.
"Andre Villas-Boas had to leave, he was sacked, and everybody was saying, 'You have no chance against Napoli, second leg'.
"Everybody wrote us off against Barcelona, everybody said that Bayern is playing at home, that we have missing players, and we have no chance.
"So, we kept proving everybody wrong."
Cech insisted the manner in which Chelsea achieved Champions League glory meant it had to be their destiny.
"It must have been because, all those years, we've been really doing well in the league," said the Czech Republic star, who joined the club eight years ago.
"And throughout all the years, we were so unlucky in the Champions League.
"This year, everything was going wrong in the league. We finished in sixth place, where we had never finished since I joined the club, and it was the moment where we won the Champions League.
"So many times this season, people wrote us off, and we said, 'Okay, everybody keeps writing us off, but we will do it'.
"Finally. It's been eight years. The chance came and in a moment when nobody expected it. We grabbed the chance.
"I said prior to the game that if we win the cup, I don't want a cake, and this is the best present I can get. It's a dream come true."
Cech wrote his name forever in Chelsea folklore with three penalty saves, the first from Arjen Robben in extra time and two more in the shootout.
"It was fantastic and when I saved the first one in extra-time, obviously it gave me confidence for the penalty shootout," said Cech, who suffered shootout agony in the final in Moscow four years ago after John Terry missed a penalty that would have sealed victory.
He added: "I saw Didier (Drogba) step up for the fifth one and thought, 'This was the moment that should have happened in Moscow'.
"When he scored, for the first time in my life I didn't know what to do.
"I heard him crying. I was crying, shouting. It was unbelievable."