These 3 Chelsea stars always showed up in cup finals

This Sunday, the Blues will return to face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley. Let's look back at three Chelsea legends who relished the occasion.
Soccer - FA Cup Finals 2009 - Everton vs. Chelsea FC
Soccer - FA Cup Finals 2009 - Everton vs. Chelsea FC / ben radford/GettyImages
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This Sunday, the Blues return to face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, offering the majority of Chelsea's young squad the chance to secure their first piece of silverware and contribute to the rich tapestry of Wembley memories cherished by Blues supporters, both young and old.

Chelsea faced a challenging test at Manchester City, which served as perfect preparation for the Carabao Cup final. Many feared a heavy defeat at the Etihad Stadium ahead of their Wembley showdown with Liverpool on Sunday. However, on a ground where Chelsea had only experienced disappointment since their victory against City in the 2021 Champions League final, they proved many doubters wrong. A Chelsea team with an average age of just 23.4 executed Pochettino’s counter-attacking game plan to devastating effect, which could become an important alternative strategy in future matches.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit Chelsea icons who absolutely cherished and excelled in finals.

Didier Drogba

Who else would we start but the main man himself, Didier Drogba. The man who strived in every final that came in his way. Few Chelsea players have embraced the big occasion quite like Drogba. The Ivorian's stellar performances in finals for Chelsea have left an indelible mark on his legacy at Stamford Bridge. Although it may sound improbable now, Abramovich and the Chelsea board initially harbored doubts about signing Drogba. Despite his talents, he was relatively obscure, having only impressed in two seasons in the French League with clubs that weren't title contenders.

In response, Mourinho delivered a straightforward directive: "Mr. Abramovich – pay. Pay, and do not speak." In hindsight, Abramovich would come to realize the wisdom of heeding Mourinho's advice, as Drogba's impact on Chelsea proved to be invaluable, vindicating the decision to invest in the Ivorian striker.

In his debut season for Chelsea, Drogba played a pivotal role as the club secured their maiden English Premier League title. Additionally, Chelsea triumphed in the Carling Cup (now Carabao Cup), with Drogba contributing a goal in the final. This marked the beginning of Drogba's remarkable streak of scoring in numerous cup finals, earning him the reputation as the ultimate big-game player.

One of his standout moments came in the 2007 FA Cup final, where he produced one of his finest performances on the grand stage. The Blues, aiming for a domestic cup double after winning the League Cup earlier that year, relied on Drogba's brilliance to secure victory over Arsenal in Cardiff with his decisive double. Months later, as Wembley reopened for business, Chelsea faced Manchester United in the inaugural FA Cup final under the iconic arch. In a tense and closely contested match, Drogba once again rose to the occasion during extra time, sealing the cup double and concluding what would be the final full season of the first Jose Mourinho era with a remarkable achievement.

While Chelsea couldn't maintain their hold on the Premier League title, they secured victories in both the FA Cup and the League Cup, with Drogba finding the net in both final matches. This achievement made him the sole player to score in and win the finals of both tournaments in a single season.

Setting aside Chelsea's journey to the final against Bayern Munich, which warrants its own detailed article, let's paint the picture of how the final unfolded. Despite Bayern Munich taking the lead with the first goal in the 83rd minute, appearing poised for a 1-0 victory, Drogba intervened. True to his cup final prowess, he netted a late header in the 88th minute, leveling the score and pushing the game into extra time and subsequently penalties. Chelsea ultimately clinched the victory on penalties, with Drogba sealing the win with the decisive spot kick, etching his name into the annals of history.