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Farewell Didier Drogba – Chelsea Legend

Every defender in the English professional league will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when Didier Drogba finally confirmed yesterday that he was leaving Chelsea and all probability, the Premier league.

The Ivorian has been described as many things – a power-house, a born winner, a drama queen, a philanthropist, a legend, an icon….the list is endless.

The stats speak for themselves – he’s been with us for eight years and in that time he has played 341 games, scored 157 goals, won 3 Premiership titles, four FA Cups, 2 Carling Cups and now the Champions League – and somewhere during that lot, he has managed to stop a civil war and build schools and clinics through the charitable foundation that he set up.

Didier Drogba is a complex individual who was always difficult to predict – he could be as petulant as a child or as gracious as an ambassador; his foibles were well documented but this is neither the time nor the place for those.

We have been fortunate as Chelsea supporters to have had a number of prolific strikers wear the royal blue over the years, but there are not many who could compare with his power, his technical ability, his presence, his influence in the dressing room and his emotion.

I don’t think I loved him more than after THAT Barcelona game where furious by the unfairness of Ovrebo’s refereeing, he became an uncontrollable force of nature – he wasn’t going to graciously accept it – why should he? He was representing all of us supporters who were equally robbed that night. He demonstrated his passion, his will to win, his refusal to just allow this injustice to be accepted – that’s how much it meant to him – this wasn’t just a job – just as it’s not just a game.

I don’t need to tell any of you how many goals he scored in the big games – it was always a case of cometh the hour, cometh the Drogba – he was THE big-game player. No matter what the situation, as a Chelsea supporter you knew that if Didier Drogba was on the pitch then you still stood a chance.

When he was on song he was an absolute joy to watch – when he single handedly destroyed Liverpool, the countless times he destroyed Arsenal, the semi-final goal against Spurs at Wembley, an absolute stunner of a goal against Everton six years ago that still makes me tingle, the hatrick against Wigan on the final day of the season that won him the Golden Boot – we could go on and on and on, but of course what he will be remembered for is his final goal, his final match, his final gift.

If it had been a work of fiction it would have been castigated for being too farfetched. The crushing of hope as that Bayern goal went in – you could see that they thought that had won it – only eight minutes on the clock. The agony in the blue section of the stadium – tinged with a gut-wrenching hope. When he rose to meet that header the goal seemed to be an impossibility – too many bodies in the way – but this was Didier Drogba and the ball sailed through that narrow gap to cause utter mayhem in our end.

Nothing sobered me up as quickly as that penalty award – hero to villain – but the football gods had had their fun at our expense – it was time to make amends. This was Drogba’s time – penalties a suitably dramatic way for him to end his time.

If, like me, you have watched that penalty shoot out a few (hundred) times, you will see two things – Drogba looking nervous as he walks up – and Drogba is never nervous, and when it goes in, his demeanour cracks – just for a nano-second where he knows this is it – it’s all over – the events have made the decision for him – he can leave on a high as painful as that would be too.

I cannot speak for other people but I believe that Chelsea would not have achieved half of what they have in recent years without this man. I think he is possibly one of the greatest players ever to have graced this Premier league and certainly one of the greatest to have worn our shirt. They say you don’t really miss something until it’s gone but I think its dawning on everyone now just how difficult it is going to be to even come close to replacing such an extraordinary talent.

So farewell Didier, we’ll obviously miss your goals, but we’ll miss your motivation, your personality, your passion and your character; it’s been an absolute privilege to have had you with us – and we hope you will carry us in your hearts as we will you, wherever you go to next.

Didier Drogba – Chelsea Legend.

Posted by Trizia

Discussion

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  1. What a fantastic piece of writing! I had to stop half way through reading it because I was crying!!!!!! YES I AM AN EMOTIONAL WRECK! But thank you for this, it really says what all Chelsea fans are thinking! Didier Drogba IS a Chelsea legend xxx

    Posted by Nicky Ledder | May 23, 2012, 1:03 pm
  2. Bloody hell Trizia that’s a serious bit of writing, well done for expressing how so many of us feel about the man. No tears from me, just smiles as I remember the goals, the flamboyance, the intensity, the defending of corners, the tackling back at our corner flag – we’ll never see his like again!!!

    Posted by PaddyMulligansHAirdo | May 23, 2012, 1:27 pm
    • Intensity is a great word for him – unique too – we will never see his like again

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:33 pm
  3. Excellent tribute to a great man, how can you replace such a player as Drogba? we all know players move on but there will have be a special signing to replace Didier at Chelsea.
    Last time I felt like this about a player was when Zola left and not sure we ever really replaced him.
    These types of players are ‘one of a kind’ and we have been lucky to have some of them at Chelsea over the years.
    Thank you Didier for helping to bring home the biggest trophy in club competition, never thought I would see the day.
    Best wishes to you wherever you end up. Legend!

    Posted by Peter T | May 23, 2012, 2:09 pm
    • Just wished that Lukaku could have spent more time with Drogba

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:33 pm
  4. An amazing man, and we were so lucky to have him for eight years. A good decision to now move on. Torres, we have a vacancy for our next legend…

    Strange, I suddenly have something in both eyes at the same time! Embarrassing, as I’m in Dusseldorf airport waiting to board a flight, with a row of Germans looking at me. If they only knew!

    Posted by Mike Howarth | May 23, 2012, 2:38 pm
    • I too am so glad he went while at the top – a great way to remember him

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:31 pm
  5. Drogs was by a long way the best striker we have had, full stop. I say this, not to belittle any of our other strikers but because in my opinion from the second season he was with us he was the best striker to have ever graced the Premiership. Such power, such mobility, such a range of passing, such a defensive stalwart.
    And yes, some times, such an actor. But lets face it most of it was aimed in one way or another at gaining Chelsea an advantage. And the rest of it? Well, with genius comes a hint of madness doesnt it? And dont we just bloody love him for it.
    Dont we just!

    Posted by Bluebrain | May 23, 2012, 2:45 pm
  6. Well done Trizia!
    It has been a source of eternal frustration for me that opinion about the Mighty Drog was so polarised among Chelsea fans(albeit between those who understand football and those who don’t). It was on the U-Bahn to the stadium on Saturday that I argued with someone who thought that Drogba could have been the best if “he’d wanted it enough” and who then went on to eulogise Alan ‘Bloody’ Shearer as an example of what Drogba could have been if he’d applied himself!
    In addition to the qualities you described so well, let’s not forget his extraordinary team ethic. I remember, in the early years, when he was rotated with Crespo that he was the first player to congratulate Crespo when he (Crespo)scored, sometimes haring towards him from the bench.
    Last season too, having been usurped ludicrously by Torres, who can forget him coming on as a late substitute then single handedly running down the clock near the corner flag for the last 9 minutes, seeing out the game against Man Utd. He had no urge to prove the folly of the Chelsea hierarchy’s decision making, by attempting to score himself. Only the team, the result, mattered!
    A player of supreme technical ability and tactical intelligence, he was in my opinion the greatest player in our history, an opinion born from fact when considering the salient role he played in the winning of so many titles in the most glorious period of Chelsea’s history.
    He scored in 9 finals and so many other key games when it mattered, when the team needed him. A true mark of greatness!
    I look forward in due course, to seeing his statue placed alongside Ossie’s, possibly a three-figure statue including JT and Lamps, the other 2 in Chelsea’s Holy triumvirate.
    What do you think?

    Posted by Wayne | May 23, 2012, 4:01 pm
    • I think that you are right and in this period of numerous trophies that we have enjoyed, that those three have been integral to all success – a statue would be amazing!!

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:30 pm
  7. Oh, blimey, Trizia, just when I was starting to feel a little less emotional along comes this piece of fabulous prose. Thanks for encapsulating what the majority of Chelsea fans will sense, feel and know. I managed to speak with him once: such a gentle man and aware of what he meant to Chelsea fans. He was proud that he made us feel good and that he played with such fine players. Go well, Didier, as I know you will. Onwards

    Posted by Hugh Betterton | May 23, 2012, 8:42 pm
    • I too was fortunate to meet him on a couple of times and you are so right – he was so quiet and humble

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:28 pm
  8. hear hear! Well put together article that sums up the feelings of all true blue supporters towards the legend that is Didier Drogba! how on earth are we going to replace him though???
    we all have a favourite Drogba goal but flippin heck there are so many to choose from but I would have to opt for the crucial 2nd goal he scored in April 2010 at old trafford against man utd which effectively put us in the driving seat for the title at the time! I remember the Chelsea section going bananas after he scored and it made my day on the way out after the game when I overheard utd fans moaning that he was offside which made it all the sweeter…anyways best of luck to the guy, he owes us and the club absolutely nothing, thats for sure! LEGEND!

    Posted by shane fitzgibbon | May 24, 2012, 9:44 pm
    • Love it when he is at his most powerful and players are literally bouncing off him.

      A very hard act to follow

      Posted by Trizia | May 25, 2012, 2:28 pm
  9. Very well said. I think my tears are finally starting to dry up!

    Not to mention became the first African to score a goal against Brazil at a World Cup. Which he did with a fractured forearm.

    Guus was right when he said he was irreplaceable. The man is a modern a modern day gladiator.

    Posted by Drogbacite | May 25, 2012, 3:49 am
  10. Amen

    Posted by EmeraldBlue | May 25, 2012, 3:45 pm
  11. I luv U Drogba,not only me,86% of Nigerian luv U ur skil,technic.but why did u do this dat’s my question? hw can we cop witout seing playing 4 chelsea why?

    Posted by Harold Godwin Adam | June 19, 2012, 10:36 am

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