DROGBA: SO SPECIAL

As he prepares to play his 75th and most important Champions League game, Didier Drogba reflects on a long history in the competition.

At times the story has been magnificent, at times it has taken a darker twist, but though he has been a major part of Chelsea's quest to add the European Cup to our trophy cabinet, he refuses to entertain the idea he is destined to be on the winning side on Saturday evening. Instead he is ready to give his absolute all to make it happen.

'I am lucky to be playing Champions League games,' the 34-year-old says.

'When I was young I used to watch the games on TV, all these finals, Zinedine Zidane scoring his volley against Leverkusen, and every Champions League game for me is special.

'I feel lucky every time I come on the pitch because I am one of the few players in Europe who can play these kind of games, and the Champions League doesn't owe me something.

'I am just happy because we are again in a Champions League Final and it is fantastic because we deserve to be here. Nobody really expected it at the start of the season but I think we did everything to reach the Final and now we are going to give everything to win it.'

Saturday evening's match surpasses the 2008 Moscow game in importance considering the implications it has on qualification for next season's tournament. On that rainy night against Manchester United four years ago Drogba hit the post with game poised at 1-1 but was then sent off for slapping the face of Nemanja Vidic.

'It was a difficult moment for me but for the club as well,' he says as he thinks back, 'and I apologised to the fans.

'Since then we have played a lot of games and won a lot of cups and we won the league, and now it is one memory I cannot forget but at the same time it is the past.

'Now I look only at this game and I am very happy again to be in the Champions League Final. Moscow for Chelsea was an experience and we have learned from there.'

Drogba has scored 38 Champions League goals to date and Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has admitted the Ivorian is capable of scoring at any moment of a game. He also said Drogba can be an outstanding actor on the pitch.

'I don't think I am, no,' Drogba counters.

'They have a great manager with a lot of experience and he did a lot for Bayern Munich. I have a lot of respect for him and that is all I can say.'

With Drogba's contract situation for next season yet to be finalised, there remains a possibility that this could be his final match for Chelsea, but either way, he wishes to dismiss one set of media stories.

'I want to make clear there is a lot of rumours about me being offered something by Barcelona and it is not true, and the kind of moment I am living now, the excitement of the big game is more important than Barcelona approaching me or not.'