Drogba had impressed in France and in Europe and had caught the eye of Jose Mourinho
Mourinho’s Porto side went on to surprise everyone by winning the Champions League. He was then given the manager’s job at Chelsea, which had been taken over by Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovic.Mourinho quickly identified John Terry and Frank Lampard as players who could be mainstays in the team and set the example that he wanted others to follow. He then needed a striker to complete the spine of the team.
Mourinho had seen firsthand how devastating Drogba could be and shunned the more ‘big name’ stars to pay £24m to bring the Ivorian to the club.
Drogba’s arrival brought an end to the Chelsea career of popular Dutch striker, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Argentine superstar, Hernan Crespo and Mikael Forssell were also loaned out to make way for their new striker.
Bringing the title to Chelsea
Drogba hit the ground running at Chelsea and was the joint second top goalscorer with 16 goals for the season as Chelsea won their first title for 50 years and reached the Semi Final of the Champions League. Drogba also helped Chelsea win the League Cup, scoring in the final against Liverpool.
The following year, he scored another 16 goals as Chelsea retained their title. He also helped the Ivory Coast reach the final of the African Cup of Nations. However, he missed from the spot as Ivory Coast lost on penalties to Egypt after the game finished 0-0.
He also went to the World Cup with Ivory Coast that year and scored his country’s first ever goal in the finals of the competition. However, they went out at the group stage after losing to Argentina and the Netherlands. He was named African footballer of the Year for 2006.
Winning the FA Cup
In 2007, Drogba scored the winning goal in an extra time 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final. He also scored twice as Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 in the League Cup final. He finished the season as the top goal scorer in the Premier League with 20 goals in 36 games.
They were the last trophies that Drogba would help Mourinho to win as the Portugese boss left early the following season. But Drogba continued to do a fine job for Chelsea and managed to outshine a new team mate, Andriy Shevchenko. He helped his team reach the Champions League final but he was sent off before Chelsea lost the match on penalties.
In 2008, he reached the semi finals of the African Cup of Nations but they lost 4-1 against Egypt.
Chelsea win the Champions League – Read more