If Chelsea’s Champions League final win last night could be told through one man it would be Didier Drogba. Eight years as a Chelsea player and eight years as their talisman was encapsulated in one breathtaking performance.
Of course, if possession statistics could win you games then Bayern Munich would have won the match, no questions asked. In football though, a strong will can get you far and Drogba was the embodiment of Chelsea’s stubborn belief; they were going to win.
Drogba has long been worshipped in Africa, and especially in Ivory Coast, his native country. However, in West London, I would not be surprised if a statue was being mounted outside Stamford Bridge at this very moment. It is beyond doubt that he is now an immortal legend in the club’s history.
Certainly, there are others who contributed, as the team spririt of the underdogs was remarkable. Mourinho must have felt some satifaction as his former players Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and Petr Cech all showed their permanent class.
There is little more that they can win now to bring more success to Chelsea. They have won three Premier League titles and four FA Cup trophies since Mourinho brought them together and now the Champions League has been won by a London club for the first time. A suitable return for Abramovich’s billion pound investment?
Regardless, count these titles with Drogba’s contribution to them and the phrase big-time player will never be more apt. After Drogba’s equalising header he pointed to the heavens but he created his own destiny.
It may be his last game for the club and if it is, his last touch for Chelsea will be a Champions League winning penalty, a moment that will be remembered long after his career ends. Last night, the 34-year-old reminded Andres Villas Boas, and others that doubted the Chelsea ‘old guard’, that age is no obstacle when you have the desire to win.