Didier Drogba reveals the REAL story behind Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League win, including how he asked a young Juan Mata for help and accepted blame for AVB’s sacking: ‘We put egos aside’
- Tuesday marked the eight year anniversary of Chelsea’s Champions League win
- The hero of that day, Didier Drogba, shared a story behind the club’s success
- Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich on penalties in their own stadium for glory
Drogba’s remarkable tale begins with the departure of Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012. Villas-Boas had clashed with members of the Chelsea squad and in the wake of his departure, Drogba said they had a team meeting.
There, Drogba says, the players acknowledged their part in AVB’s exit and vowed to give everything to win the Champions League. The striker also turned to a young Juan Mata, asking for his help.
Didier Drogab has lifted the lid on a fascinating tale behind Chelsea’s Champions League win
Tuesday was the eight-year anniversary of Chelsea’s victory over Bayern Munich in the final
‘I bet you’ve all seen videos of the Champions League final so I just wanted to tell you a little story of mine months before winning this trophy,’ Drogba said in a lengthy but engaging Instagram post.
‘Eight years ago, the manager had been sacked by the club and we, the players had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure.
‘The captain spoke, and other leaders in the group too. We decided to all give this competition everything, despite our defeat 4-1 against Napoli.
‘We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than runner up.
‘Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each other for the same goal. After that meeting I asked a young, 23 years old Juan Mata ‘please Maestro, help me win the Champions League’ – he looked at me like ‘man you’re crazy, you’re Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it.
Drogba headed in Chelsea’s late equaliser from a corner delivered by Juan Mata
Drogba pictured celebrating alongside Mata, with Frank Lampard joining the wild scenes
‘I then told him I’ve been here for 8 years and never won it so I believe you’re the one who’s gonna help us win.
‘I’ll even give you a present if we win it, that was end of February.
‘Three months later, we were in Munich, in the final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave.
‘The hosts took the lead with 8 minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man said to me ‘believe Didi, you have to believe’.
‘Almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score ‘believe in what? It’s almost over, I’m gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Cote d’Ivoire.
Chelsea’s 2012 win is their only Champions League title – they also have two Europa Leagues
‘Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich.
‘Guess who took that corner kick… and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE !!!!
‘Happy 8th Birthday to US.’
The victory remains Chelsea’s only Champions League triumph but they have since won two Europa League titles, including their victory last season.