As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Drogba: Mourinho speech stopped me quitting Chelsea after first season

Didier Drogba says he almost left Chelsea after only one season at the club.

The Ivorian was tempted to return to Marseille after scoring just 10 times in his debut season.

He would, of course, go on to win four Premier League titles, the Champions League and four FA Cups, and Drogba has credited manager Jose Mourinho with inspiring his decision to stay and fight at Stamford Bridge.

The 40-year-old told the Mirror: "There was a time after the first season I was looking for that comfort zone, which means going back to Marseille to be the only striker with the team playing for you

"And then I heard Mourinho saying ­something really interesting to me and the team. He was ­talking about the players. He was saying, 'You know, if you want to be the only king, then go back to the team that you were playing and scoring for. Go back there.

"'But here, there's 22 kings. So you ­accept it, work­ together, or you go - go back to where you came from and be the only king where­ everybody is behind you.

"I understood it. For me, this is the challenge I was ­expecting and I had done that with ­Marseille already. Now I had arrived at a team where even the centre-back had scored 10 or 15 goals in the season. Suddenly I thought, 'Wow, where is my place here?'

"I knew I needed to improve and that's what really challenged me and it's why I became the player that I was."

About the author

Freddie Taylor

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free