Scolari salutes Drogba impact

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Luiz Felipe Scolari hailed Didier Drogba as "one of the best strikers in the world" after the Ivorian climbed off the substitutes' bench to fire Chelsea into the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Drogba's 71st-minute winner, which came six minutes after he replaced Salomon Kalou, helped Chelsea beat CFR Cluj 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. But it was still not enough for the Blues to take top spot in Group A after Roma beat Bordeaux in Rome.

"Drogba is one of the best strikers in the world," said Scolari. "I have more options now he is fit."

He added: "But he didn't have a pre-season build-up because of injury and when he came back he got injured again. Then he was suspended and now he is back again."

But the real dilemma facing the Brazilian coach is finding a system that can incorporate both 15-goal top scorer Nicolas Anelka and Drogba.

Anelka has been in fine form this term and Scolari was intent on paying tribute to the Frenchman despite Drogba's heroics against Cluj.

"Drogba is important but don't forget we are second in the Champions League group and second in the Barclays Premier League because our top scorer is Nicolas Anelka," said Scolari.

"Drogba is one of the best in the world but I need to think about Anelka. He is as important as Drogba. After this, it is my job to put the two together."

Chelsea's second place in the group means they will have to play the second leg of their knockout tie away from home, but Scolari says he does not fear anyone.

"For me it is not difficult if we play Barcelona, Real Madrid or any team because they are the best," he added. "If we want to arrive in the final games, we need to win."

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Didier Drogba
European News
Nicolas Anelka
Salomon Kalou

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