Interview

Classics: Drogba at the Double

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from playing, having finished his career in the United States playing  for Phoenix Rising.

To mark the occasion and to recall the Ivorian at his Blues best, we revisit here a classic interview he gave to this website in May 2010. Drogba had just helped the side win the Premier League title for the third of four times during his career here (he scored a hat-trick against Wigan on the day we secured that title} and he was just about to, in inimitable style, net the winning goal at Wembley in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth. That would mean we won the Double for the first, and as yet only time in the club’s history. 


Here is what Drogba had to say back then…

 

It has been quite a season at Stamford Bridge, and for nobody more so than Didier Drogba , who in addition to the Barclays Premier League title has accumulated the African Player of the Year award, the Chelsea Player of the Year award, the Golden Boot and a place in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

It is not without justification - in 43 Chelsea appearances this season, the Ivorian captain has contributed 36 goals, more than any man since Kerry Dixon in 1984/85, as well as launching his own charity and raising millions for a hospital in his native Abidjan.

Didier, quite a quiet year for you on the field?

Where to start? I don't know. It is one to remember, I think it started with pre-season, I had a good pre-season and I knew that with that I would have a lot of chance for a good season. I was really excited about this one coming and I think now I can say it is the best season I had so far.
 

Really, your form has carried on since the second half of last season...

Last season I didn't want the season to finish because I was in good form, playing well and scoring some goals, I really felt well so I was happy when the new one started without problems and it was good.

This year you have really taken responsibility in front of goal...

No, I don't see it like that, I don't prepare myself like this because when I come on the pitch I just want to play well, and be happy and enjoy it, scoring goals is good of course but I just wanted a good season because last year I played only six months because of injuries, so this time it was important to enjoy.

You certainly took responsibility to perform in the big games though, scoring at Anfield, the Emirates and Old Trafford...

You know when there is big games I think the motivation is always high, it is more important and you have to have your concentration. I don't know how to explain it but I love big games and I want to perform. You have to enjoy these games, they are like Champions League games. The difference this season is I performed in big games but also those that are not as big, so that's why I think my season is complete.
 

You said this week you would happily end your career at Chelsea, you're already closing in on Jimmy Greaves' goalscoring record, what are your future objectives?

When I came here he was one of the few names I had heard with Peter Osgood, so they are an example for me as a striker because I want to achieve the same thing as them here, but the goals are not my objective, that is to win trophies with Chelsea. If a goal comes it is good, but last season I did not score a lot but I was really happy with the season we had. I am not crazy about scoring goals, that's the difference between me and other strikers. I am also happy when I create goals and this season had a lot of assists, sometimes celebrating more than the goalscorer because I was just happy with my assist.

The one against Stoke stands out for that, where you brought the ball down with the outside of your boot...

Yes exactly, I practise it a lot. If you want to try something in a game it is better you try in training before and then you have the confidence to make it work.

You must be proud to have achieved so much on a personal level, with so many awards?

Player of the Year is really important to me, coming from the fans. I had the chance to be Players' Player of the Year a few years ago in 2007 and I am really happy that the fans voted for me. It is a great honour and the competition was not easy, because people like Lamps, Flo and Iva all had great seasons, so to be Player of the Year is fantastic.

 

Is the biggest honour of all though being recognised in Time magazine's 100 most influential people?

Yes, this is the most important one because it is not simply football, it is related to football but it is for the man I am, not only the football player.
And what is the latest with your Foundation and the hospital you want to build?

We want to start laying the foundations for the hospital straight after the World Cup and carry on trying to raise funds because the important thing is not only to build the hospital but also to run it, that's why we are organising things, we want to do it in a good way, not rush.
 

And finally, is there any truth in the rumour that you are making a band with Florent Malouda?!

We are just having fun, it is just between us so we are not taking it seriously!
 

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