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'Chelsea 10 times better than Gala,' says Drogba ahead of Jose reunion

The Ivorian’s current team welcome a former one to Istanbul tomorrow evening.

Drogba and Mourinho hug after Real Madrid and Galatasaray met in the competition last year.
Drogba and Mourinho hug after Real Madrid and Galatasaray met in the competition last year.
Image: Thanassis Stavrakis

DIDIER DROGBA HAS said former club Chelsea are “10 times better” than his current side, Galatasaray, ahead of the teams’ Champions League meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday.

“Are Chelsea better than Galatasaray? Yes, they are 10 times better,” the Galatasaray striker, now 35, told the BBC on the eve of the last 16 clash.

“If I play it is to win. It will be tough but Juve were better than us, so anything can happen. If there’s a one percent chance of us winning. I’ll believe it.”

Drogba spent eight years at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 342 games and won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and also scored the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final — his final kick in a Blues shirt.

“It will be difficult,” he said of playing against London club Chelsea.

You don’t stay eight years in a place you don’t like, especially in football — it is very emotional. I love Chelsea but I play for Galatasaray now and I will give everything for them.

“When you’re happy at a club, you want to stay forever,” said Drogba who joined Chelsea from Marseille for £24 million (€29m) in July 2004.

“But sometimes you can’t do everything you want to do. I am proud of what I achieved.”

Asked about the possibility of working again with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, the Ivory Coast forward said: “They say in French ‘avec des si. Rome ne s’est pas construite en un jour’ (there are lots of ifs. Rome wasn’t built in a day). It is only if and if and if. We are not there yet.”

And he insisted he was happy working under current boss Roberto Mancini, the former Manchester City manager.

“They’re very different, two different personalities but with the same mentality. They want to win, they want to win trophies. They are winners.”

But he said he was still friendly with Mourinho.

“There is a lot of respect. When there is somebody that important, who looks at you like a friend, you forget that he is ‘The Special One’ and you are the striker. “It is a man-to-man relationship, a friendship.

“These kind of moments are special, because they are very important, very precious. He was the one who helped me to make my decision to come to play for Chelsea.

He was always fair with me. When I deserved to play, I played. When I didn’t, I didn’t. That is why I respected him so much.”

And Drogba said that when Mourinho, now in his second spell as Chelsea manager, left Stamford Bridge in 2007 he too considered quitting the west London club.

“Yes I did. When you are young and emotional you react straight away and later you end up realising it was not the right thing.

“Maybe I’d have dealt with it differently today, but I was affected because the man who believed in me was leaving. It was normal.”

- © AFP, 2014

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