Reaction: Power and passion
News Sat 4 Jan 2014
Didier Drogba was delighted to be back playing in Turkey despite receiving a hostile reception from the Fenerbahce supporters last night.
The Ivorian, who announced his retirement from international football yesterday, was back in the country where he had most recently played prior to joining Chelsea.
Drogba spent 18 months in the colours of Galatasaray, twice helping them reach the knockout stages of the Champions League. It was because of his affiliations to the Istanbul side that every touch of the ball he made in our matches with Besiktas and Fenerbahce was met with a wall of whistling and jeering.
Turkish fans are renowned as some of the most vocal in the world and Drogba acknowledged that fervour afterwards.
‘I don’t think it’s in a bad way,’ he said. ‘It’s just supporters and their passion. It doesn’t affect me. I respect them and I think they respect me. That’s the most important thing.
‘I love Turkey and I love the people, I think everybody knows that. They welcomed me here in a fantastic way and I’ll never forget that. I feel like I’m at home when I’m here.
‘It was an important and good thing for us to be here and to show our support,’ continued Drogba, turning his thoughts to the mining disaster for which last night’s mini-tournament was in aid.
‘It’s good that we could help the families of the people that died in Soma. It’s a good gesture.’
That was an opinion shared by John Terry as he explained in his post –match thoughts.
‘We’re here to support the families and raise money after the terrible disaster,’ said our skipper.
‘It was a good test for us on the pitch as well. Although it was very disappointing to concede that goal at the end of the second game there are some very good signs. We can’t wait for the season to get started now.’