English Premiership

Drogba returns to Chelsea

2014-07-25 21:34
Didier Drogba (File)

London - English Premier League giants Chelsea announced on Friday that their former striker Didier Drogba has returned to the club on a one-year contract.

Citing the influence of manager Jose Mourinho, Drogba told the club website: "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 am excited for this next chapter of my career," added Drogba, who was pictured on the club website posing with Chelsea's new home shirt.

Drogba, 36, was a free agent after leaving Turkish side Galatasaray at the end of last season.

The Ivory Coast star scored 157 goals for Chelsea over an eight-year period and left the club in 2012 shortly after scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

"He's coming because he's one of the best strikers in Europe," Mourinho said.

"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."

Mourinho brought Drogba to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in a £24m transfer in 2004 during his first stint as manager.

The burly, powerful centre-forward went on to become one of the greatest players ever to have played for the west London club.

He was instrumental in three Premier League title successes and also won four FA Cups and two League Cups, in addition to the Champions League triumph at Bayern's Allianz Arena.

In total he has made 341 appearances for the club, scoring nine cup-final goals, and was voted Chelsea's greatest ever player in a 2012 fan poll.

After leaving in 2012, he played for Chinese club Shanghai Shenua before joining Galatasaray on an 18-month deal in January 2013.

An Ivory Coast great, he played in all three of his country's matches at the World Cup in Brazil, leaving him with 104 caps and 64 international goals to his name.

Drogba is likely to provide cover for new Chelsea signing Diego Costa, who completed a £32m move from Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

Mourinho can also call upon Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku, who has returned from a season-long loan at Everton, but Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have both left the club.

British media reports suggested Drogba could be offered a coaching role at Chelsea, but Mourinho said that he was returning to the club to play.

"If you bring him back, it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no," the Portuguese told the Friday editions of several British newspapers, before Drogba's return had been confirmed.

Mourinho said that Drogba was returning because "as a player he has qualities to make the team stronger".

He added: "(Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich is very intelligent and he feels that people belong to the club. We feel that Didier belongs to us."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
13 February 2016
Sunderland v Manchester United, Stadium of Light 14:45
Norwich City v West Ham United, Carrow Road 17:00
Everton v West Bromwich Albion, Goodison Park 17:00
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 17:00
Bournemouth v Stoke City, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Newcastle United, Stamford Bridge 19:30
14 February 2016
Arsenal v Leicester City, Emirates Stadium 14:00
Aston Villa v Liverpool, Villa Park 16:05
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 18:15
27 February 2016
West Ham United v Sunderland, Boleyn Ground 14:45
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Norwich City, King Power Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Watford v Bournemouth, Vicarage Road 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.