Chelsea FC midfielder and all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard spoke to Chelsea TV recently about what it would be like to face his old teammate Didier Drogba in the Champions League. The two were together at Chelsea for eight years before Drogba left the club by mutual consent after winning the Champions League in 2012.
The list of trophies the two won together is impressive and includes three Premier League trophies, four FA Cups, two League Cups, two Community Shields, and and of course the Champions League. After achieving so much with Drogba it is natural for Lampard to be emotional about facing his old friend for the first time and even texted him as the draw came out because they still keep in touch.
Lampard spoke about his and Drogba’s feelings regarding the tie:
“[Drogba] was delighted and nervous actually because he said it would be difficult for him to come here to Stamford Bridge. He still sees it as his home and his love. I said to him that once he gets back and has the reaction from the fans, he will absolutely love it, both games. I’m sure he will. The draw did have an air of inevitability. It is amazing how often these things happen in football.”
The atmosphere in Istanbul is always electric for the Champions League but the real spectacle will be when Drogba returns to Stamford Bridge on March 8th. The Ivorian will undoubtedly receive a standing ovation from all involved and there may be a few cheers from Chelsea supporters if he happens to score against his old club.
Lampard also spoke at length about the player Drogba is and the hero he is for Chelsea Football Club:
“You will see a return of a hero and rightly so with what he did with his last kick for us. It was the best two days of my life in football terms by a million miles. It was just incredible from start to finish and every fan you talk to is a ‘where were you when you saw it’ moment. But it wasn’t just that. There were finals galore, big games. In the dressing room behind the scenes he was a real leader and people didn’t see that – one that we have certainly missed, he was so complete. He is the best I have played with solely for the fact of doing it in big, big games. There are a lot of good players out there, but he consistently scored in finals and popped up at the right time. I have played against great players and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are probably the best, but he is right up there without a doubt.”
High praise for a great man from a fellow Chelsea legend. Drogba earned his reputation as a big game player by consistently scoring in cup finals for Chelsea and he did so in what is the greatest moment in club history. Now lets hope Drogba feels a bit timid when he faces his old friends and does not embarass us the way he has done to so many other clubs throughout his career.
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