Drogba thanks Mourinho for making him one of the best
Didier Drogba has paid tribute to Jose Mourinho for becoming one of the best strikers in the world. The former Chelsea striker is set to return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving the club, where he is considered as a legend, in 2012. Ahead of this much anticipated reunion, he said that Mourinho transformed many good players like him into great players. Drogba was already regarded as a striker with great potential during his time at Marseille.
He says that it was the excellent management of the Portuguese that made him into a world-class striker. Drogba won everything with Chelsea including the Champions League title with his last kick for the London club in 2012. According to Sky Sports, he said to the Sun:
"When Chelsea were thinking of signing me, it was Mourinho who came to see me.
"He said 'If you want to be a great forward like Thierry Henry or Ruud van Nistelrooy, you have to come and play with me in England, at Chelsea'.
"It's true that I was a good player in the French league at the time but he made me one of the best in Europe."
The 35-year-old spent eight seasons at Stamford Bridge and he became one of the leading strikers in the world. Aside from becoming a player feared by his opposition, Drogba also managed to win numerous trophies during his time at the club. He says that it is largely down to the winning mentality introduced by Mourinho during his first spell.
The squad built by the Portuguese largely remained unchanged until 2012. Despite several managerial changes during this period, Chelsea managed to keep winning trophies. The win-at-all-costs mentality made a real difference in the players like John Terry, Frank Lampard, and Petr Cech. Drogba says that the players were good when he arrived at Chelsea, but they were taken to another level under the leadership of Mourinho. He continued:
"He adores winning. The majority of coaches arrive at a club and say 'I'll try to win but it'll be difficult'. He says 'I'm here to win' and he wins. That makes him special.
"Even after Mourinho left, that winning mentality stayed there. He left that legacy at Chelsea."
Drogba may not have scored much since returning to European football with Galatasaray, but he will be a man to watch when the Turkish club take on Chelsea in the last 16 of the Champions League.