In another segment of his huge intervention on television, Mourinho opened up about the time when he convinced Roman Abramovich to sign Drogba.
We know that we’ve been talking a lot about Jose Mourinho today but the man did drop quite a few bombs on his first day as a pundit for BeIn Sports, but we’ve mostly spoken about the negative stuff he left in the Premier League and not about the conversation he had about legendary Didier Drogba.
The Ivorian striker practically owes his whole professional career to Jose Mourinho, as it was the Portuguese manager who took him out of obscurity and made him a superstar.
The talent was obviously there from the start of his career, but it wasn’t until the boss convinced Roman Abramovich to sign him that Drogba had his first big break as a professional and became famous around the world because of playing for the Blues.
But Didier is actually what is commonly known in football as a “late bloomer”, he didn’t really start playing his best football until he was at Chelsea when he was already 25-years old.
Jose Mourinho did have a good eye for talent back in the day, he made a huge gamble when he demanded Drogba’s transfer from Marseille but Roman Abramovich would’ve agreed to anything at that point because the Portuguese manager was considered the “King Midas of Football” at that time.
— Oluwaseun Sofoluwe (@theOluwaseun_) January 17, 2019
The Portuguese manager was able to reveal the surprising way in which the Russia club owner first doubted Mourinho’s judgment, but he revealed the way in which he convinced him to pay the money for a player who ended up making history for the Blues.
“Drogba is the kind of guy who is so loyal that he never forgot that I took him from Marseille to the Premier League, where he was not even expected, because he didn’t start very young at that level,” said the Portuguese as quoted by Four Four Two.
“He had already played for Guingamp, Marseille, Le Mans, so when I took him to Chelsea I remember clearly Abramovich was asking me, ‘Who? Who do you want as a striker?’”
“With all the big names in Europe at that time I said Drogba. ‘Who is he? Where’s he playing?’ (I said) ‘Mr Abramovich – pay. Pay, and don’t speak.'”
“And Didier was an iconic player for Chelsea, for the Premier League. He was fantastic also for Galatasaray, then when he came back to Chelsea and I told him: ‘You’re not No.1 anymore, but I need you here to help me with the team, with the more experienced players, with the Hazards, Willians, the young guys.'”
“He was phenomenal again. There are players with their character and their personality, who are important from day one until the last day in their career,” he concluded.
This was Mourinho taking a dig at Woodward and the board over signings.
Unlike at United, when Mourinho told Abramovich to shut up and pay for Drogba despite his age and unpopularity in Europe, he did exactly that, and we all saw the results.pic.twitter.com/0NCdHyIvrU
— Teddy Munene (@TeddyMunene) January 17, 2019
The story between Didier Drogba and Chelsea is one that most of us love revisiting every chance we get, it is one of the most incredible tales of a player who was considered a flop before coming to the Blues and winded up becoming the institution’s most celebrated legend.
Drogba was at his absolute best when Jose Mourinho was already gone, but the credit does belong to the Portuguese manager because he is the one who rescued him from Olympique Marseille.
Before coming to Chelsea, Didier had already played for Le Mans, Guingamp, and the previously mentioned Marseille with very little success under his belt.
By the time he played the Champions League that Chelsea won in 2012, we were in the presence of one of the best strikers in modern football history and certainly the best centre-forward in Chelsea’s short but successful history.
Now that he is retired from football, it was only a matter of time before we heard from Jose Mourinho talking about the specifics of how Drogba became a Chelsea player.
¿Es este el mejor XI formado por jugadores entrenados por Mourinho? pic.twitter.com/3Qm5gEkd3Y
— bet365_es (@bet365_es) January 17, 2019
What do you think about Didier Drogba’s career at Chelsea? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.