The Weekend Interview: Didier Drogba “The more you win this competition the more you are connected to it. “

On the weekend we start our FA Cup campaign Didier Drogba, one of the most decorated players in the history of the competition, reflects on what makes it so special and expresses his desire to add to his already considerable medal haul…

Didier Drogba has a glint in his eye. The FA Cup is back.

In his last appearance in the competition, two-and-a-half years ago, he produced a decisive goal in the Wembley final. That afternoon Drogba got the better of Liverpool but they were not the first team to feel the full force of the Ivorian’s magic touch in a Wembley FA Cup final. Just ask Manchester United, Everton or Portsmouth supporters.

That precise left-footed drive past Pepe Reina on 5 May 2012 was understandingly usurped by events in Munich two Saturdays later. However, as the official Chelsea website sits down with Drogba over lunch at Cobham on the eve of our entry into this season’s FA Cup, it is quickly apparent this historic tournament means as much to him as ever.

‘Even when I was in France it was a big competition,’ he recalls. ‘We all watched the FA Cup final as though it was the last game of the season. I used to see players that I was and still am a big fan of playing and scoring in these finals, people like Cantona and Anelka.

‘It’s a great competition for English 1420218459677[1]football, one where you can find a team from a lower division or a team that is struggling in the league in the semi-final or the final. The atmosphere for the games, with all the fans travelling to support their teams, is special.

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‘When I think of the FA Cup I have these images of Di Matteo, Cantona, Anelka scoring in the final at the old Wembley. I always dreamed of playing at the old Wembley but I didn’t have the chance because they built the new one. I was lucky then to create some kind of history at the new stadium.’

Drogba is referring to his extra-time goal in the first final under the new Wembley arch. On that occasion Manchester United were his victims. Again, it was the winner.

1420217828230[1]“The more you win this competition

the more you are connected to it. “

That 2007 success is one of four we have enjoyed in the world’s oldest cup competition since Drogba first moved to Stamford Bridge 10-and-a-half years ago. He, more than most, knows what it takes to lift the famous trophy, but cup campaigns do not start in the final. Five ties must be negotiated first.

‘The mentality is always to get closer to Wembley,’ he explains. ‘You win this round; you go to the next one.

‘If you have to replay a game you do it but really the thing is to get to Wembley because it’s a fantastic stadium and the FA Cup is only good when you win it.

‘If you get to the final that’s when you really know you have a chance to win the trophy because when you come in you see the cup. Everything changes.

‘We always play to win. The more you win this competition the more you are connected to it. I think it’s been two-and-a-half years since we won it last so it would be good for us to go to Wembley again and win it but it’s a long journey ahead.’

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Our FA Cup campaign may only be beginning tomorrow but our quest for the other trophies on offer this season is already well underway. Later this month we play Liverpool in a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final tie, a Wembley final the reward for the victors.

Drogba fully expects the Blues to lift silverware before long, pointing out the regularity with which we have done so in the past decade. He also insists the trophy-laden experience he and others at the club have enjoyed would count for little without the impressive talent our younger players – who perhaps have fewer medals to their name – bring to the squad.

‘We have to do it together. We want to achieve something great and I think that is why we have played well this season. I hope at the end of it we will be able to say together we won this trophy, this trophy and this trophy.

‘And yes, I would love to win another FA Cup. I would love to win it for the club and for the fans as well. I know the feeling the fans have when we get to a final. We share the same feeling. It would be nice to go back to Wembley together again and make history.’

Source: NEWS 9 hours

One comment

  1. Let me tell you guys a small story In the summer of 2004, I was still an arageve Indian bloke for whom sport meant only cricket.. i got into a group of individuals who used to follow football a lot all Man Utd fans and their arrogance literally threw me off the Man UTD fan radar from the start . Arsenal were the ruling invincibles.. so i surely didn’t wanna support them coz I always back the underdogs and Liverpool were never even in contention coz of their fans harping on history and shit I didn’t know who Roman was and I admit, I didnt know much about Chelsea either. So there I was, a guy who wanted to follow football and wanted to be a fan but did not know to whom he can pledge his allegiance. I was studying engineering. and was stayin in an hostel so coudn’t catch up much of TV and the stupid newspapers uses to pass on the news clippings of Beckham and his haircuts as football news regardless of which club he used to play for. Then came THE day, It was a Sunday. Feb 27, 2005 I was at home watching some carling cup final incidentally the match wasn’t thr on local cable.. but we had just bought some set top box.. tht used to give Real madrid tv, Barca tv and some other european football channels on which i could see this match. Thats’ when I saw this one player in theblue shirt who caught my eye, not coz of his skill or anything.. bt his sheer presence, movement and the way he was bulldozing the defence with every chance he got. He was a Fcuking menace for L’pool. That match being one of few ones I had seen on full length, I just wanted the blue team to win, just coz of this one man. This man was Drogba!!! I was so elated that they won the Carling cup. I hardly knew the difference between a Carling cup and a EPL cup then. But i was just happy that the blue team won and it won coz it had a guy called Drogba .I graduated in the summer of 2005 so I came back home, and I made it a priority to watch all the matches of the blue team on every Saturday and Sunday. Since then I have been a fan of this wonderful team, of this wonderful Center Forward that is Drogba. He has been much more than a legend for me. His on the pitch work of scoring 9 goals in 9 cup finals. His off the pitch work of requesting for peace and cease-fire to Ivory Coast rebels and much more, has made him one of the most respectable iconic personalities in my life.I thank him for everything that he has done for my beloved club and wish him the best of luck for everything in life… hail Drogba!!!Reply

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