Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Drogba: I'm here for business

Published 26/07/2014

Didier Drogba is returning to Stamford Bridge
Didier Drogba is returning to Stamford Bridge

Jose Mourinho and Didier Drogba have warned the Premier League the striker's Chelsea return is not a sentimental move.

The Blues favourite returned to Stamford Bridge on Friday on a one-year deal after leaving in 2012 for stints at Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray.

He may be 36 years old but Drogba insists he is coming back to contribute to the club's trophy ambitions - a sentiment echoed by manager Mourinho.

"Didier's coming because he's one of the best strikers in Europe," said Mourinho, himself in his second spell with the club, who originally signed the Ivory Coast international for £24million in 2004.

"I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he's not protected by history or what he's done for this club previously.

"He is coming with the mentality to make more history."

Drogba, Chelsea's fourth-highest goalscorer of all time with 157 goals in 341 appearances, cemented his place in club history by scoring first the equaliser and then the winning shoot-out penalty as they beat Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.

And he said of his return: "It was an easy decision - I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again.

"Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me.

"My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. I'm excited for this next chapter of my career."

Drogba's first spell at Stamford Bridge, spanning eight years, produced three Barclays Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and the prized victory over Bayern.

His 34 goals in European competition is a Chelsea record, as are his nine strikes in nine cup finals, and f ormer Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher hailed Drogba's aptitude for the big occasion.

"Looks like Drogba is back," he wrote on Twitter. "Loved our battles, best big game player I can remember."

Much of the reaction to the move centred around Drogba's extraordinary record against Arsenal.

He scored 13 times in 14 appearances against the Gunners, with his goals crucial in securing 15 Premier League points, progress in the 2007 League Cup and the 2009 FA Cup and victory in the 2005 Community Shield.

Broadcaster and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: "Oh no. He's back," adding "King @ThierryHenry - we need you back. Urgent." Both posts concluded "#Drogba".

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