As Chelsea players climbed the steps of the Allianz Arena in Munich to collect the Champions League trophy on Saturday night, many fans watching back home in England let out a yelp of surprise.
But the screams weren't directed at the blues managing to effectively mug Bayern Munich in the dying seconds of the game, but at the sight of George Osborne sat in the VIP box of the stadium.
Having no doubt been made aware of the near universal confusion back home, the chancellor took to the pages of the Sunday Times to explain he was, in fact, a lifelong Chelsea fan.
"I first started going to Chelsea games in the mid-Nineties when I lived off the North End Road, ten minutes’ walk from Stamford Bridge," he said.
"Sadly I can’t go nearly as often these days. But my father and brother are season ticket-holders, so I get reports of games second-hand.
He added: "On Saturday night my brother texted me to say: 'Are you watching this??' I texted back to say: 'I’m not just watching it — I’m here' and he replied: 'So am I!'"
And keen to dispel any suggestion that he was their at the British taxpayer's expense, the chancellor explained he was there courtesy of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, with whom he said he had struck a deal.
"He is a Bayern Munich supporter. Our teams were both facing formidable Spanish sides in the semis. And we agreed that if we won — which frankly we both thought unlikely — we would have a rendezvous at the Allianz Arena," Osborne explained.
However according to the Daily Mirror, while the tickets for the final were paid for by Schäuble, the flight from London to Germany was picked up by the taxpayer.
The paper reports that as the chancellor held and official meeting with Schäuble before the game, he was able to put it down as a business trip.
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