Didier Drogba..

Didier Drogba reveals the secret to his 2012 Champions League final penalty

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Football News

There's no date in Chelsea's history quite like May 19, 2012.

In spite of a disastrous start to the 2011-12 campaign that culminated in the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues were on the brink of something special under Roberto di Matteo. A whimsical sixth place finish couldn't hamper a charge to the Champions League final.

And Bayern Munich - despite commanding home turf - were ultimately undone by a Chelsea side defying all the odds. The west London club were without their captain, were blooding Ryan Bertrand and deploying a 34-year-old striker.

However, said striker just happened to be Didier Drogba.

The Ivorian propelled himself into Chelsea legend status with his performance in the final, scoring a bullet header to improbably equaliser for the Blues. Then, of course, the winning penalty in the ensuing shootout. 

Drogba reeling away in celebration is one of the most iconic images in recent football history and an unparalleled display of calmness under pressure. Furthermore, the 34-year-old has dissected that famous moment like never before in an interview with Chelsea TV.

He was challenged to draw out the most iconic moments of the final, culminating in his pivotal spot kick. There was also time for him to reveal why - in such nerve shredding circumstances - he decided to deploy a run-up straight out of five-a-side football.

Astonishingly, the 34-year-old took just two steps with a technique that the likes of Frank Lampard admitted left him both bewildered and concerned at the time.

In the mind of Drogba, though, it all made perfect sense. Skip to 3:12 to see his explanation:

Drogba conceded that he usually takes penalties with four or five steps, but took the decision to reduce this number amid paranoia that Manuel Neuer would read the run-up. He also explained that he wanted to catch the German off guard in an attempt to nullify his research.

Coupled with a deliberate hesitation after the first step, he was able to read Neuer himself and slide the ball into the opposite bottom corner.

It's hard to imagine many players completely altering their penalty technique for the most important spot kick of their lives yet there was method behind the madness.

Chelsea football club player Didier Drog

If you're going to win the Champions League, you might as well win it in style, hey?

Do you think a Premier League team will win the Champions League this year? Have your say in the comments section below.

Bayern Munich
Didier Drogba
Eden Hazard
Manuel Neuer

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