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Hazard: Drogba convinced me to join Chelsea

Didier Drogba was behind Eden Hazard’s big-money transfer to Chelsea almost three years ago, according to the Belgium international midfielder.

Hazard left Lille for Chelsea in a deal reportedly worth £32 million in 2012 and Rudi Garcia, who was coach of the Ligue 1 outfit at the time, claimed a phone call from owner Roman Abramovich persuaded the player to relocate to England.

However, the PFA Players’ Player of the Year recipient insisted that was not the case, instead telling The Mirror that Chelsea icon Drogba convinced him to join the London club.

“I didn’t want to go to Chelsea because I wanted to play the Champions League and they were sixth in the league,” said 24-year-old, who has won the Premier League, League Cup and UEFA Europa League since arriving at Stamford Bridge.

“I was convinced when they won the Champions League in 2012.

“At the time, Roberto Di Matteo really wanted me, they had Juan Mata, and Oscar had been bought. I was told: ‘You’ll see, Chelsea will play football’.

“Gervinho called me and said: ‘Someone’s on the phone’. I didn’t know who it was but it was Drogba, he wanted me to sign.

“I was flattered, he was maybe the best striker in the world. In my head, I wasn’t going to sign, but in the end I was very pleased with my choice. I didn’t speak to Abramovich.

“I don’t know why coach Garcia wrote that in his book.”

Sun 10 May, 2015
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