Mourinho recounts how he convinced Chelsea owner Abramovich to sign Drogba

Former Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has recounted in an interview with beIN Sports how he was able to bring former Ivory Coast international Didider Drogba to Stamford Bridge from French side Olympique Marseille in 2004 for £24 million, with Drogba going on to become the club’s highest-scoring foreign player of all time.

“Drogba is the kind of guy who is so loyal that he never forgot that I took him from Marseille to the Premier League, where he was not even expected, because he didn’t start very young at that level,” said the Portuguese. “He had already played for Guingamp, Marseille, Le Mans, so when I took him to Chelsea I remember clearly Abramovich was asking me, ‘Who? Who do you want as a striker?’ With all the big names in Europe at that time I said Drogba. ‘Who is he? Where’s he playing?’ (I said) ‘Mr Abramovich – pay. Pay, and don’t speak.’”

Mourinho added: “And Didier was an iconic player for Chelsea, for the Premier League. He was fantastic also for Galatasaray, then when he came back to Chelsea and I told him: ‘You’re not No.1 anymore, but I need you here to help me with the team, with the more experienced players, with the Hazards, Willians, the young guys.’ He was phenomenal again. There are players with their character and their personality, who are important from day one until the last day in their career.”

Drogba sealed his place in Chelsea folklore when his header in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich took the game to extra time, before his penalty kick complemented Petr Cech’s saves during the shoot-out to win the title for the Blues.