Cape Town - Chelsea striker Diego Costa has revealed his admiration for Didier Drogba, thanking the Blues legend for helping him during his early days in London.
The Spain international shared a single season with the former Côte d'Ivoire captain when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge, while Drogba was returning for a second stint.
"I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward," Costa told the Evening Standard.
"He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player. Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed.
"This is because — and I'm not making this up at all — I specifically used to watch Chelsea, who are obviously a big club, just to see Drogba.
"He was famous and everyone would talk about him. I even liked watching him when he played for the Ivory Coast.
"When I arrived here, he was never cold with me, quite the opposite. I wasn't exactly scared of him, but he was such a legend who had helped the club grow and been a part of all that.
"He made history here, so could have been dismissive of me but, no, he was always fantastic with me. I was playing well, scoring goals, and he would support and motivate me, whereas others might not have done the same. I take my hat off to him."