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Didier Drogba. The lion of Munich and a possible Chelsea return
Twelve men in a tent are packed around a small television. Sitting on plastic boxes, makeshift benches crafted from breeze blocks and a plank of wood. As well as the odd actual chair they've managed to find. I'ts 11:30pm in Afghanistan and no one is missing this game. The champions league Final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
Over the last few months Chelsea had defied the odds to reach this position. Some will say they had done it playing unattractive, defensive football. Having successfully kept Barcelona at bay in a performance showing huge determination and defensive discipline (As well as being down to ten men from the 37th minute), they now had the opportunity to take the greatest glory in their 107 year history. They just needed to do it without the suspended John Terry, against arguably the best performing team in Europe that year, On Bayern's backdoor in Munich . . . Step up Didier Drogba.
Didier Drogba was always going to be the man that would have the final say in Chelsea's champions league victory. His 88th minute header taking them to extra time and then calmly slotting past Neuer to spark wild scenes of elation among Chelsea's players, staff and supporters. Drogba had given the Chelsea owner what he had been waiting for since he purchased the club. So what now for the Ivorian striker? He had already declined a new contract from Chelsea, preferring to leave the club he loved on a high note. At 34 years old none of the top clubs were going to sign him on to a lucrative contract, even with his recent heroic performances. He instead moved to one of the emerging big money clubs in Asia, Shanghai Shenhua. But after the club had financial issues and were unable to pay wages, Drogba asked FIFA to void his contract so that he may move to the Turkish champions Galatasaray. Once again Drogba was playing champions league football.
With Jose Mourinho moving back to Chelsea this opens an intriguing window of opportunity for the striker, Having openly stated he would relish the chance to return to Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. All that was needed was Mourinho to return the interest. As luck would have it Drogba visited Stamford Bridge earlier this month and spoke to him. The Chelsea manager had this to say on a return to Chelsea for Drogba “I can use Didier as a profile to persuade youngsters to follow me because he followed me from day one.” It now seems its not a matter of If, but when the blues legend will return. They will have to speak to his current club Galatasaray, but with only 6 months left on his contract it seems the 35 year old's return is imminent.
But what else can he bring to the club he has done so much for?
As a player he may have lost pace. But players of his caliber and breed rarely rely on pace alone. Drogba has shown time and again that he can do what he is paid to do, score goals. Possessing phenomenal strength and an eye for goal anywhere within 30 yards, he can still do the job at the highest level.
His ability in the air has left premiership defenders watching the ball sail into their own net week after week. Not to mention the work rate he puts in for the good of the team, regularly back defending or holding up the ball awaiting support. Say what you will about his age, that he may not have what he did only two years ago.
But the one thing he wont lose with age is the passion and determination he has showed through out the entirety of his career. This attribute alone will make sure that "when" he returns to Chelsea, be it as a player or coach, his inspiration will make a difference. For the man dubbed " The Lion of Munich " and voted Chelsea's greatest ever player by a poll of 20,000 fans. Returning to the club he has become a true Legend at may seem daunting. But Jose Mourinho still has unfinished business having never won the champions league with Chelsea. The lion of Munich will return to bring this much sought after title back to his club, one way or another.
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