NOT OVER

The manager of the Ivory Coast national football team, Sabri Lamouchi, has made it clear that Didier Drogba’s international career is not over yet and he will be back playing for the national team soon.

Didier Drogba hasn’t represented his country after the African Nations Cup. There have been reports that he doesn’t have a good tuning with the manager and that’s why, he is out of the team, but, Lamouchi has denied those reports.

Talking to the reporters about Drogba’s return, Lamouchi said, “I didn’t have any dispute with him. His exclusion was purely based on form and fitness. He had a very tough last year. He went to China where he found that the standard of play was not as high as he was anticipating. He lost a bit of spark playing there and he was not at his best at all in the African Cup of Nations. So, we decided to give him a break.”

“But, towards the end of the season, he looked good playing for Fenerbahce. There was a spring in his stride which was nice to see.”

“Didier has a lot of experience in international football and it would be wonderful to have him back for our remaining World Cup qualifying matches.”

Lamouchi has been criticized by the football experts in Africa recently for not including experienced players in the squad. According to the experts, Ivory Coast will struggle against quality opponents because of the lack of experience in their squad.

When asked about that, Lamouchi said, “Criticism doesn’t bother me that much. The fact is that we have done pretty well so far in the World Cup qualifiers. Yes, I know that we still need some improvements and we are working hard for that.”

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MOURINHO HAILS DROGBA

The Real Madrid manager José Mourinho has named the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as his favourite player of all-time. Mourinho and Drogba enjoyed a special relationship even though the pair were together for just a few seasons.

It was the Portuguese manager who brought Drogba to Chelsea for £ 24 million back in 2006. Drogba went on to play for eight seasons for the English club during which time he established himself as one of the best in the world. The 34-year-old is currently playing for the Turkish club Galatasaray after ending his Chinese adventure after just six months.

During his time at Chelsea, Drogba and Mourinho managed to lift two league titles along with plenty of other trophies. They came extremely close to reaching the final of the Champions League as well. Mourinho was recently in Turkey in order to scout his Champions League quarter-final opposition – Galatasaray. There were reports in the media that the manager has criticised his former player Drogba, who is likely to come up against him when the two sides met each other. However, Mourinho has said that he will never have anything bad to say about Drogba, and the player is also well aware of the good relationship enjoyed between the two.

“I have had a lot of truly special players, but if I had to choose one I might go for Didier. As a player he is out of this world. I would like to have him by my side, so just imagine. Drogba knows who I am and what I feel in my heart for him. It is impossible that I would talk bad about Drogba. There is no problem because he knows that the last thing I would do is to say anything negative about my relationship with him,” said Mourinho in a recent interview.

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JUVE MIGHT CHASE DROGBA

The CEO of Juventus, Beppe Marotta has choose to remain tightlipped over the possibility of the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba coming to the club in the January transfer window. The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international is regarded as one of the best players in the world.

It was only a few months ago that he helped Chelsea win the Champions League almost single-handedly, as he scored against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich en route to the final victory. Chelsea allowed to leave him in the summer on a free transfer due to the concerns about the age and also the future of the star striker Fernando Torres.

Didier Drogba has always said that he is capable of playing at the top level until he is 37 years of age due to the way he looks after himself. He is now currently playing for the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. However, it is thought that he is extremely unhappy at the club due to the numerous financial problems and boardroom troubles surrounding the club. Further, the Chinese league comes to an end in the next few weeks, which will mean that he will be not at his best in the upcoming 2013 African cup of nations due to low fitness levels.

“Our results have shown that we are competitive. However, it is clear that we can make some improvements. We will not exclude anything, even if we are not in the market. Our rotation policy? We will play in all competitions to the best of our powers, but the final decision will always be made by the coach,” said the Juventus CEO when asked about the possibility of signing Didier Drogba. If Drogba does indeed come to Turin, then it is likely to be on short-term basis before returning to China.

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DRGBA ENJOYING CHINA

The striker of Shanghai Shenhua, Didier Drogba, has said that his tenure at Shanghai Shenhua has been fantastic so far and he is enjoying his time here in China.

Drogba has joined Shenhua this summer after leaving Chelsea. He has performed brilliantly for the club since the start of the season. He has played seven matches so far in the ongoing season and has found the back of the net on five occasions. His presence in the Shenhua squad is also drawing more and more people towards the stadium. The Supporters have turned out in huge numbers in all the home matches of Shenhua so far.

On being asked about the Chinese Super League, Drogba said that it’s a fantastic league. People love football here in China and the atmosphere in the stadiums during the matches has been unbelievable. It’s an absolute joy to play in front of Chinese crowd. They make a lot of noise and get behind their team like crazy.

On being asked about the new manager of the club, Sergio Batista, Drogba said that he is a good manager. He has quite a lot of experience in this field. He has managed several teams in the last 12 years. He has come with some good ideas, but, it’s up to the players to execute his plans in the middle.

Batista had also been the coach of Argentina National team. He had resigned from his post in 2011 after the below par performance of the Argentinean team in Copa America last year.

On being asked about the player whom he has found the toughest to compete against, Drogba said that the Barcelona striker, Lionel Messi, is the one who is very hard to control on the field. You can’t afford to relax even for a second if you are up against Messi.

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DROGBA NETS FOR SHENHUA

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba scored the equaliser for his new club Shanghai Shenhua after scoring in the 1-1 draw with Guangzhou R&F. Drogba was making his debut for his club after a gap of eight years.

The last time Drogba made his debut for a new club was way back in 2004 when he was a £ 24 million signing from Marseille. This time around, he is a free agent. However, Didier Drogba is one of the highest earning footballers in the world. He was on the bench for the match against Guangzhou R&F knowing that he would get his debut sooner rather than later.

His club Shanghai Shenhua, though, were struggling on the pitch. As a result, the manager decided to bring on the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. It was a move that paid instant dividends after he scored on his debut to help his team returned home with a point. As a result of this point, the club now climb up to the 12th position in the table. When Drogba scored in the 68th minute, it was almost his first touch of the match. He was impressed throughout the match, while playing alongside his former strike partner at Chelsea – Nicolas Anelka.

“I am happy that everything went right in my first 45 minutes here. It was a little bit hard for me to get into the game at the beginning, but when I got used to the rhythm, I began to enjoy the game. I am feeling good now and was accustomed to all things in China now. It is very comfortable playing alongside my former team-mate Nicolas Anelka,” said Drogba after the match. Former Blackburn striker Yakubu was quick to praise the Ivory Coast international by saying that he can make Shanghai Shenhua extremely successful.

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DROGBA DENIES RUMOURS

After surprise rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona in the summer, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has said that he is unsure of the origin of the rumours.

The former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba recently revealed that he would be departing the London club after eight years. He is regarded as one of the best players in the history of Chelsea football club, which is quite an achievement after signing for the club for a record fee of £ 24 million back in 2004. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the Ivorian has won every major trophy with the club including the Champions League.

He recently revealed that he would be moving to the Chinese football league by signing for the Shanghai Shenhua. A deal with the Chinese club, which is rumoured to be around £ 220,000 per week, was signed only last week, but Didier Drogba has recently been spotted in Barcelona with a number of club officials.

This has led to rumours stating that Didier Drogba would be allowed to sign for Barcelona for only one season before returning to Shanghai Shenhua. Drogba’s spokesman, though, has denied such allegations by saying that his client will only play for Shanghai Shenhua in the next two seasons.

“Drogba to Barca story complete nonsense. As we told you he joins Shanghai in July,” said the agent of Didier Drogba. “I don’t know anything about Drogba. If he is in Barcelona, he is on holiday. It has nothing to do with Barca,” said the Barcelona President Sandro Rosell in response to the rumours linking the former Chelsea striker with a move to the Camp Nou.

The 34-year-old scored the winning goal in the first leg of the Barcelona and Chelsea encounter, which was largely responsible for eliminating the defending champions from the competition last season, but has now moved on because Di Matteo named Fernando Torres as his first choice striker.

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CHELSEA WANT CONTRACT TALKS

Chelsea will be holding talks with star striker Didier Drogba over the possibility of signing a new contract. The striker is out of contract at the end of the season.

He recently helped Chelsea win their first ever Champions League title by scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich on May 19. It looked like Chelsea were going to lose the competition it again in the final when Thomas Müller scored for Bayern Munich with only 7 minutes remaining. However, Didier Drogba did not take long to equalise for Chelsea after he scored with a thundering header 2 minutes from time.

He almost turned the villain for Chelsea after giving away a penalty in the extra time, but Cech saved the weak penalty from Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben. The match went into penalties and Didier Drogba had the opportunity to give Chelsea their first glory in Europe when he stepped up to score the decisive penalty.

The Ivory Coast international could have been in the same position in the 2008 Champions League final had he not been sent off. However, this time around he made no mistakes as he sent Chelsea fans into Wonderland after their triumph in Europe that makes them join the elite clubs in the world.

“Didier is a big-match player and he did it once again. I think Ron Gourlay is going to sit down with his agent this week and we’ll see where it goes. We have to do what’s best for Chelsea Football Club and Didier has to do what’s best for him, we’ll just see how the discussions go,” said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck following the end of the match. Didier Drogba has now scored nine goals in 9 cup finals for Chelsea. His goals have helped Chelsea win the FA Cup and the Champions League this season.

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DROGBA HAPPY WITH UNDERDOG STATUS

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed that he is extremely happy to go into the match against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final as the underdogs.

Chelsea have been the favourites to win the Champions League over the past couple of seasons, but recent failures mean that they will not be the favourites against Barcelona when the two sides meet at the Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba has revealed that it is extremely easy to play when there are no expectations unlike in previous seasons when they were expected to win the Champions League. A champions league bet placed on Chelsea this season would see you recoup 10 times your stake, compared to previous seasons when they have been as low as 6/4 to win.

Chelsea made it to the final of the Champions League once, but lost in the final to Manchester United on penalties. Many argue that this will be the last season for many of the old guard at Chelsea, which includes Didier Drogba as well. Chelsea have certainly done well after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, as they have reached the semi-final stage when they were not expected to cross the last 16 itself.

However, they will be facing the biggest opponents in the form of Barcelona, who stand between them and either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. Lampard has also spoken about the underdog status of Chelsea in this match, which could potentially help them.

“I don’t mind if people write us off against Barcelona. We’re in the semi-final on merit. I understand what people are saying. Everyone has this feeling with Barcelona that they’re going to roll over everyone. When they’re at their best they can do that. We have to take them on and play the way we did in the FA Cup,” Drogba said ahead of the meeting with Barcelona.

Chelsea are undefeated against Barcelona in their last five meetings with the Spanish club and they will be hoping that the run continues this season as well.

CHELSEA HAVE DROGBA WORRIES

Chelsea are extremely worried at the fitness of Didier Drogba, who had to be taken off in the match against Bolton.

Didier Drogba has just recently returned from the international duty after participating for the Ivory Coast at the 2012 African cup of nations.

The previous time Didier Drogba had played in this major tournaments, he came with many problems fitness wise. Chelsea are worried that the same may re-occur once again, as the striker had to be taken off in the match against Bolton. He is a major worry for the match against West Brom next weekend, while he is definitely going to not take part in the Ivory Coast friendly midweek.

Didier Drogba scored in the 3-0 win over Bolton, but had to be taken off. Frank Lampard scored the final goal of the game in order to show that he is still one of the best players at the club to Andre Villas-Boas. Didier Drogba has managed to keep out Fernando Torres out of the first team action every time he has been available. Even though this has not been the most prolific season for Didier Drogba, he still retains his place in the team due to the fact that he brings other players into the match.

Chelsea are currently facing a race to finish ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham in the fight for the Champions League qualification. Chelsea will have to play an extra qualifying match if they finished fourth, while they will be qualifying directly to the group stages if they finish third in the table.

Tottenham are currently in the third position, while Arsenal are in the fourth position. The latest football odds place Chelsea as slim favourites to make the fourth spot.

Arsenal managed to hand a lifeline to Chelsea after they beat Tottenham 5-2 at the Emirates to reduce the gap from 10 points to 7 points.

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DID DROGBA GIVE TEAM-TALK

The Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba has recently been in the limelight for reasons which might be quite stupid to him. He has rubbished off any rumor which goes on to say that he gave the half time speech to the team.

The usual procedure that is followed is that the Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas gives a speech to the team during the half time to build their confidence and make each of them aware of any faults which they should better on during the next half.

However, during the last match with Birmingham city, Didier Drogba might have made a continuation speech followed just after Andre Villas Boas had finished his. However this should not be considered as one where he made the entire speech during the half time. He specifically emphasizes on the point that apart from the coach and the boss, there are other important, key players in the team who can put in a word of advice and that does not mean that they are taking control over the team themselves.

He remains adamant to his point that he has just done what the manager would have wanted them to do. Chelsea has anyway been having quite a bit of trouble in the recent past with their game performance and since they have managed to overcome these difficulties and perform well once again, it shouldn’t be of much trouble if this is brought about by some advice by senior players of the team.

Didier Drogba feels that the entire issue has been blown out of proportion and people should stop making such a huge issue out of nothing. Rather they should be happy that the team is improving instead of looking into minor details like these.

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