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Jose Mourinho convinced Didier Drogba to stay at Chelsea with his speech..

Didier Drogba: The speech from Jose Mourinho that convinced me to stay with Chelsea

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When Didier Drogba first arrived at Chelsea, his first aim will have simply been to stand out among the other signings at the club.

2004 was the second year of Roman Abramovich's spending that revolutionised the Premier League and Drogba's £24 million move was their new record deal.

The Ivorian had scored 32 goals for Marseille the previous season, most notably 11 in 13 in a UEFA cup run to the final, where they'd been defeated by Rafa Benitez's Valencia.

Despite that, the pressure was still on Drogba to earn a place in the side; Chelsea already had Eidur Gudjohnsen at the club while Mateja Kezman was arriving from PSV Eindhoven having scored 78 goals in two seasons.

Most importantly for Chelsea, Jose Mourinho also arrived that summer and he would lead the Blues to their first Premier League title in 50 years.

Drogba scored ten in the competition on the way - enough to be their third highest scorer after Gudjohnson and Frank Lampard - but his 18 starts show how he wasn't the outright first choice for Mourinho, despite his fee.

And as he retires from the game, the Chelsea legend has revealed that he was close to quitting the club after that first league title as he craved the comfort of being the undoubted star of the show.

“There was a time after the first season I was looking for that comfort zone," he told the Mirror. "Which means going back to Marseille to be the only striker with the team playing for you."

Didier Drogba won the Premier League title in his first season with Chelsea.

And who do Chelsea fans have to thank for the change of heart? Mourinho, of course.

"I heard Mourinho saying ­something really interesting to me and the team," Drogba explained. "He was ­talking about the players. He was saying, ‘You know, if you want to be the only king, then go back to the team that you were playing and scoring for. Go back there.

“‘But here, there are 22 kings. So you ­accept it, work ­together, or you go — go back to where you came from and be the only king where ­everybody is behind you.’

His crowning moment for the Blues was his performance in the 2012 Champions League final.

“I understood it. For me, this is the challenge I was ­expecting and I had done that with ­Marseille already. Now I had arrived at a team where even the centre-back had scored 10 or 15 goals in the season. Suddenly I thought, ‘Wow, where is my place here?’

“I knew I needed to improve and that’s what really challenged me and it’s why I became the player that I was.”

Drogba would stick around, of course, and as he retires from the sport he goes down as not just a 'king' at the time, but one of the greatest in Chelsea's history.

Thank god for Mourinho's speech.

Topics:
Didier Drogba
Football
Jose Mourinho
Premier League

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