Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Drogba shrugs off Moscow injury fears

Didier Drogba insists there is no chance he or John Terry will miss Chelsea's Champions League final showdown against Manchester United.

Drogba spent the final minutes of Chelsea's match against Bolton on Sunday limping with a knee injury, but the striker was unable to come off because Avram Grant had already made all his substitutions.

Blues captain Terry looked in even more trouble when he was taken to hospital with a dislocated elbow suffered during the 1-1 draw. But Terry later returned to Stamford Bridge and Drogba revealed his team-mate will join him in the starting line-up in Moscow on May 21.

“I have spoken to him – he will play in Moscow. No-one wants to miss this gigantic match, the match of our careers. That's the case for me anyway,” Drogba told L'Equipe.

“I took a blow to my knee that was operated on back in December, and it hurt at the time. I put ice on it immediately. But there is nothing serious. I will be at training this week.”

After the disappointment of losing out on the Premier League title to United, Grant's side have a chance for revenge in Russia.

Drogba is convinced Chelsea can repeat last season's FA Cup final victory over United, when the Ivory Coast star scored the winner in extra-time. But he knows the two evenly-matched teams may not be seperated until after the extra period again.

“It will play itself out over 90 or 120 minutes, like in the FA Cup final last year,” Drogba said.

“We know that we can beat United, we proved it again in the league a fortnight ago.

“But they deserved their title and were rewarded for their consistency. We made too many mistakes.”

Drogba's future at the west London club is far from certain after his repeated claims that he wants to leave.

Chelsea are keen to keep the powerful forward but, with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Barcelona all interested, it would be no surprise to see Drogba move on.

“At the moment, the only thing I have in my mind is the final in Moscow,” he said. What will happen in June or July? I still don't know anything,” he said.

“I had trouble getting used to Chelsea and I wanted to leave at the end of every season. Not because people were not treating me well, rather because of personal reasons.

“I have started everything again from zero in England. I had to replace a great striker in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was a favourite at the club.

“It wasn't easy but my relationship with the English supporters has evolved.”


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