Didier Drogba: The man who led Chelsea to the Holy Grail
It was the night of May, 2012 at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The Champions of Europe were to be decided on that night in Bavaria. Chelsea were playing Bayern Munich in their own backyard.
After Muller put Munich ahead in the second half, Drobga pulled one back for the Blues in the 88th minute, sending the match into extra time and finally to be decided on penalties.
The scoreline was 3-3 after 5 shootouts, hastening sudden death. Schweinsteiger stepped up to take it for Munich, but his efforts were spoiled by Cech.
Didier Drobga stepped up to take it for Chelsea. It was this moment that he had waited for 4 years. The road to redemption for the Blues’ striker had finally came to an end. It was his sending off in the Champions League final of 2008 against Manchester United which forced John Terry to take the decisive penalty. Drogba’s destiny was in his own hands. He had the opportunity to re-write history. He took the penalty, sending Neuer the wrong way and putting the ball in the left bottom corner of the net. He had led Chelsea to the holy grail. Chelsea were the Champions of Europe for the first time in their history. It was all because of the Ivorian, Didier Drogba.
The road to the final almost seemed lost for Chelsea when they were pitted against Barcelona in the semi-final. Roberto di Matteo deployed his blues in an ultra defensive formation to hold off the Catalans. Chelsea were defending in numbers with Drogba as the lone man upfront. He got one shot on target and he made it count.
Progressing to the finals of the Champions League after holding the Catalans at Nou Camp in the second leg would have tasted sweeter than any victory for him. This would have been a moment to savour, especially after the Champions League semi-final defeat of 2009 against the same opponent. Chelsea were destined to reach the finals and set up a replay of the previous year’s final with Manchester United, had it not been for the 93rd minute late goal by Andres Iniesta. The match was also marred by controversial decisions. Drogba received a booking in the end and faced disciplinary action for yelling “It’s a f***ing disgrace” into a television microphone.
But it was all in the past now. Nothing else mattered for Chelsea. He had buried his demons and set up Chelsea Football Club’s date with destiny.
His Major titles with Chelsea include:3 Premier Leagues, 4 FA cups and 1 Champions League.
Chelsea could not have achieved any of the above mentioned honours had it not been for the Ivorian. He was the man responsible for each and every one of the honours.
Didier Drogba will always remain as a hero in every Blues’ heart. He will always be remembered as the man who led Chelsea to European glory.