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No room for sentiment, says Drogba

Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba says there will be no room for sentiment during Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash at Chelsea.

Chelsea – who won the competition in 2011-12 – would appear to hold the upper hand heading into the second leg of the last-16 clash, having claimed a 1-1 draw in Turkey last month.

Drogba, who scored 157 goals in 341 games for Chelsea, is revered by the club’s support and sure to get a fantastic reception at Stamford Bridge.

Yet while the Ivorian has acknowledged the sense of occasion, he is focused on winning the match for his current club.

Drogba said on Monday: “It’s very difficult to play against Chelsea but it’s not going to be difficult for me because now I belong to Galatasaray.

“I need to be professional. Of course there will be emotions. Of course. Like in the first leg, which was special.

“But I’ve nothing to prove to this club. Everything I have to prove I did already with Chelsea.

“I come here with another team and I just want to win the game and qualify. There’s nothing personal against Chelsea. There never will be.

“With all the respect I have for this club (Chelsea), for the fans and the players, I might not celebrate. But if we (Galatasaray) win I will be happy.”

Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini is excited to return to England, after the Italian was sacked by Manchester City last May.

Mancini thought his side’s qualification from the group stages – from a tough pool that included Real Madrid, Juventus and Copenhagen – was a “miracle” and has urged his side to believe in themselves ahead of the second leg.

“For me it is a good moment because I have a good memory of England,” Mancini said.

“I did a very good job with Manchester City and I am very happy to play this game. I am pleased to be back and to be in London, and also because it is the Champions League.

“I think that we produced a miracle in the group because it was really difficult to go through from that group.

“Now we are here and we know it will be really difficult because Chelsea is one of the best teams in Europe. But in football never say never. Anything can happen if you believe in yourself.

“We know it will be very tough – but we want to try. The game will be difficult for both teams. Chelsea have a small advantage. But we will see what happens.”

Mon 17 March, 2014
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