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
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Fixtures
25 October 2014
West Ham United v Manchester City, Boleyn Ground 13:45
Liverpool v Hull City, Anfield 16:00
Southampton v Stoke City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 18:30
26 October 2014
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, White Hart Lane 15:30
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 18:00
27 October 2014
Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa, Loftus Road Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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