Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba says he has a unique bond with the Champions League as his side prepare for their clash with Real Madrid.
The Ivorian won the trophy with Chelsea in 2012, scoring the winning penalty in the final, but left the club for Shanghai Shenhua the following summer.
However, he returned to Europe’s top competition in Galatasaray’s 3-0 loss in the Spanish capital last week and says he was delighted to be back.
“I have a special relationship with the Champions League – it is a trophy I had to wait a long time to touch,” the 35-year-old told UEFA’s official website.
“For nine seasons, whether it was with Marseille or Chelsea, we chased this trophy. To be able to lift the cup was the highlight of my career. It is a real joy for me to be back in the Champions League, and especially to hear its anthem at the beginning of each game.”
And Drogba, who scored twice in Galatasaray’s 3-1 win over Mersin Idman Yurdu on Saturday, has stressed that he is delighted with life in Turkey.
“I must say that I am very happy here,” said the Ivorian.
“I have found a club that is ambitious, with a great project. At some point they want to win the Champions League. It is a great choice for me.
“I wanted to rediscover the passion I experienced in Marseille. I want to be part of this adventure, part of this challenge. This is something very exciting.
“The club are settled on the European stage; they have won the UEFA Cup and now want to aspire to something even better. I think this is part of the destiny in my football life. That’s fate.”