Football

Didier Drogba is 'nervous' ahead of Chelsea return - Lampard

Lamapard says Drogba is apprehensive ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge
Lamapard says Drogba is apprehensive ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba is feeling nervous as he prepares to go head-to-head with Chelsea for the first time since he left in 2012 this week, according to Frank Lampard.

The Ivorian ended an eight-year spell in west London back in 2012 in the grandest style imaginable - by striking the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

During his time with Chelsea, Drogba helped the club win three Premier League titles and four FA Cups along with that European success two years ago.

The 35-year-old, who left Chelsea to join Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua before swiftly heading to Turkey to join Galatasaray, will come face-to-face with his former employers in the Champions League in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Frank Lampard, who along with Drogba formed the spine of one of the most successful Chelsea sides of all time, says he has been speaking to his firmer team-mate ahead of the clash, and revealed he has mixed feelings about Wednesday's encounter.

“I texted him after the draw because we still keep in touch,” said the England midfielder.

“He was delighted and nervous actually because he said it would be difficult for him to come here to Stamford Bridge. He still sees it as his home and his love.

“I said to him that once he gets back and has the reaction from the fans, he will absolutely love it, both games. I’m sure he will. The draw did have an air of inevitability. It is amazing how often these things happen in football.”

Since Drogba left Stamford Bridge Chelsea have continued winning trophies, including the Europa League last season.

However Lamaprd concedes that not having the former Marseille man around has left a void that is yet to be filled - and adds that he deserves to remembered as one of the very best.

“You will see a return of a hero and rightly so with what he did with his last kick for us," Lampard continued.

"It was the best two days of my life in football terms by a million miles. It was just incredible from start to finish and every fan you talk to is a ‘where were you when you saw it’ moment.

“But it wasn’t just that [with Drogba]. There were finals galore, big games. In the dressing room behind the scenes he was a real leader and people didn’t see that. One that we have certainly missed — he was so complete. I love him as a bloke as well actually and other people saw that too.

“He is the best I have played with solely for that fact of doing it in big, big games. There are a lot of good players out there, but he consistently scored in finals and popped up at the right time.

“I have played against great players and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are probably the best but he is right up there without a doubt.”

Topics:
Chelsea
Didier Drogba
UEFA Champions League
Football
Frank Lampard

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