It was the first time that the ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba visited India and his visit did not only leave the commoners in awe for him but also the Indian cricketers who were in the capital city to play an exhibition football match at the Pepsi T20 Football finale. Stars like Indian skipper MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Harbhajan Singh and Murali Vijay were visibly star struck to see and for the first the crowd cheered for an outsider leaving the cream of Indian cricket team.
Even though he was here in India for a day he made sure that he does not deprive the journalists and did speak to them at length.
Here are the excerpts:
"Chelsea was very good for me. My heart will always be blue. I have built special relationship with so many players and it was very difficult to leave the club.”
When the reporters quizzed him about where he is heading after Chelsea, he said, “My next stop will be with a special one. The world would have to wait for some more time to know that," added Drogba.
Though Drogba confirmed on June 20 that he has left Chelsea to join Chinese club Shanghia Shenhua. The 34-year-old announced on his official website that he has signed a two-and-a-half year deal. “Today I can inform you that I have signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua FC for a two-and-a-half year deal (until the end of 2014),” he said. “I will fly out to join up with the squad in July.
Drogba, joined the Chelsea in 2004 and spent eight years at the club. In these eight years he inspired Chelsea to glory many a times and did help the club a lot in making it a worldwide brand. He has scored 100 goals for the club and is the highest overseas goal scorer for the side.
Winning the Champions League:
“It was a dream for me to win the Champions League and I have seen big clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United winning the Champions League. I wanted it badly and it was like a dream for me to score in that match. So many different emotions were going through my mind and I wanted to win for my club and my friend Petr Cech.”
Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final at the Allianz Arena and Drogba first equalized with a brilliant header and then scored the winning penalty. Drogba stayed with Chelsea for the longest period of time in his career and has scored 100 goals for the club, the most by an overseas player.
About playing under so many great managers:
Drogba in his career at the Stamford Bridge has played under so many great managers and feels that all of them brought new things to the club. “I have played under many top managers like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelloti and everyone brought something new to the side. Mourinho was the most influential as he brought in a new spirit, Ancelloti taught us a new way of thinking but Roberti di Matteo will be remembered the most.”
Di Matteo was an assistant to Andres Villas Boas but after he was sacked Matteo was appointed as an interim coach and he guided Chelsea to their first Champions League title
Drogba and Cricket:
Drogba who shot a campaign with Indian cricket stars for Pepsi said that he did not know much about the game but then tried learning it. "I know your captain though I cannot pronounce his name. I followed the last (cricket) World Cup. The Indian team were the Champions. I think he (Dhoni) is a very good leader.
It took me time to understand the game. It is very long and sometimes it goes on for days. But after hearing about the world cup, I find it interesting now."
Drogba acknowledged the fact that racism is a social menace and it does degrade the game. “Football is a social game and it does help in eradicating this. Racists are people who have very little respect and do not know how anything about life.”
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News