Didier Drogba reveals incredible Juan Mata and Champions League final vs Bayern Munich story. The Ivorian had given up until the Spaniard instilled him with words of confidence.
Chelsea had a tumultuous season 8 years back. The side massively underperformed in the Premier League and ended at 6th place in the table. Manager Andre Villas-Boas was sacked mid-season while the club suffered a 4-1 defeat to Napoli in the Champions League round of 16.
Chelsea however, pulled through at the end though. They overcame the massive deficit against Napoli before stunningly beating Barcelona in the Semi-final to book a place for themselves in the final against Bayern Munich.
The hero of the match Didier Drogba revealed on his Twitter handle, that Thomas Muller’s goal 7 minutes from full time left him disheartened and he almost gave up. However, team-mate Juan Mata urged the Ivorian to keep believing.
The pair eventually combined to score the equaliser before Drogba scored the winning penalty to beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, to win their first Champions league title.
Didier Drogba reveals incredible Juan Mata and Champions League final vs Bayern Munich story
‘Eight years ago, the manager had been sacked by the club and we, the players, had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,’ wrote Drogba on Twitter.
‘The captain John Terry spoke, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and other leaders in the group too.
‘We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our 4-1 defeat against Napoli. We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner-up. Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each other for the same goal.
‘After that meeting I asked a young 23-year-old Juan Mata, “Please Maestro, help me win the Champions League.”
‘He looked at me like, “Man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it!”
‘I then told him, “I’ve been here for eight years and never won it, so I believe you’re the one who is gonna help us win. I’ll even give you a present if we win it.” That was end of February.
‘Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave.
‘The hosts took the lead with eight minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last eight minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me, “Believe Didi, you have to believe.”
‘Almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score, “Believe in what? It’s almost over.” I was gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with the Ivory Coast.
‘Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich. Guess who took that corner kick… Juan Mata. And the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!’
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