YOU REALLY couldn't make it up. Or perhaps you could, if you weren't afraid of stretching all reasonable levels of credulity.
Chelsea, floundering, desperate and almost mutinous in mid season, have become champions of Europe for the first time.
They did it the hardest way imaginable – having to recover from 3-1 down against Napoli, overcome an almost mystical Barcelona team and then become only the second team ever to win the final on their opponents' home soil.
They also became – at last – the first London team to win this most elusive of trophies. How apt in the very year when the Olympics come to town.
In winning on penalties, they managed to emulate Liverpool's triumph in Rome in 1984 and, more significantly for them, managed to exorcise the ghosts of that dreadful rainy night in Moscow four years ago when they were the ones missing out on spot-kicks.
German teams are not supposed to be beaten on penalties, especially not on home soil, but then again, the Germans did not have Didier Drogba – a man who somehow seemed destined to win this trophy for the Blues.
Not content with heading in Juan Mata's corner two minutes from time to send the game into extra time, the Ivorian then had the brass neck to rattle in the fifth and deciding penalty to send the blue half of the Allianz Arena into raptures. The despair in the red of Bayern was total.
Drogba ploughed a lonely and fruitless furrow for most of the night as Chelsea opted for containment and hopeful counter-attack, but you can never keep him out of the limelight on the big occasion. It was written in the stars.
Drogba, sent off in that 2008 final and denied a chance to help his team in the shoot out then, was also given a lengthy ban a year later for the rage directed at the Norwegian referee who denied Chelsea clear penalties in the semi-final against Barcelona.
He simply could not leave it like that.
How ironic that Roman Abramovich's holy grail should be reached when he probably least expected it – when his side seemed less equipped than ever before thanks to suspensions and injuries which robbed Roberto Di Matteo of John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles.
So stretched were resources, that the Chelsea boss was persuaded to deploy Ryan Bertrand in an unfamiliar midfield role rather than a not-fully-fit Florent Malouda.
In a sense, the men from Stamford Bridge really should not have had a prayer.
Gary Cahill and David Luiz - barely recovered from hamstring injuries - were immense, as was Ashley Cole. The newcomers ensured an almost seamless continuation of the defensive heroics that did for Barca.
The long term benefits will be enormous for the Blues, who are now allowed back into next year's Champions League at Tottenham's expense.
For Di Matteo, getting the Chelsea post full time surely has to be on the agenda – although even now it is not certain.
But the night was not one for getting bogged down in the future. The here and now was all that preoccupied ecstatic Chelsea fans – along with the images on the final whistle which will be burned into their memory banks forever.
There was Drogba's race the length of the pitch towards the Chelsea fans and the peeling off and throwing down of his shirt near a corner flag. There was Ivanovic and later Fernando Torres perched on top of the crossbar, draped in Chelsea flags. There was Terry, determined not to miss out, fist-pumping in celebration. It was almost all too much to take in.
For most of the evening, the prize somehow looked as if it would stay just out of reach for Chelsea. Certainly the first half suggested no foundations were really being laid for victory.
Bayern had 60 per cent of the ball and rained in 13 shots to Chelsea's two. But at least they were being wasteful and Chelsea were doing enough to force errors.
Even so, it needed Petr Cech to deflect an Arjen Robben shot onto a post, while Thomas Muller volleyed just wide and Mario Gomez twice missed his cue when he had the goal at his mercy.
The grinding nature of the contest eventually got to the hosts, however. They became anxious and found openings harder to come by. Chelsea were encouraged to believe.
Yet still Di Matteo's men looked as if their ship had sailed when, seven minutes from time, Muller evaded Ashley Cole to nod down a Phillipp Lahm cross from the left that bounced up off the turf, over Cech, and in off the crossbar.
Even after Drogba had hauled Chelsea into another 30 minutes, the good work seemed to have been undone when the striker clipped Franck Ribery in the penalty area five minutes into extra-time to concede a penalty – only for Cech to save Robben's kick.
At that point, as when Lionel Messi smacked a spot-kick against the bar for Barcelona in the semi-final, there had to be only one winner.
Mata missed the first of the five spot-kicks, but Chelsea had cried wolf about their hopelessness once too often and it was not quite as surprising as it might have been that Cech saved from Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger to give Drogba the opportunity to seal the deal once and for all.
Chelsea's very own living legend was not about to pass up the moment when he could claim redemption for Euro agonies past – and set himself a bar that he may wonder if he can ever reach again. It is the same question the Blues will have to be ask themselves.
Line-up: Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Kalou (Torres 84), Mikel, Lampard, Bertrand (Malouda 73); Mata; Drogba. Subs not used: Turnbull, Essien, Romeu, Ferreira, Sturridge.
Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Boeteng, Tymoshchuk, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben,Muller, Ribery (Olic 96); Gomez. Subs not used: Butt, Petersen, Rafinha, Usami, Pranjic.