Didier Drogba Revealed Jose Mourinho's Speech Stopped Him Leaving Chelsea

Chelsea fans might not like Jose Mourinho these days but in his heyday at Stamford Bridge the manager was the reason that Didier Drogba didn't return to France, just one year after leaving Marseille.

Whether fans at the club like it or not Chelsea's success will always be synonymous with Jose Mourinho. Their former manager set the foundation for any of their further success after winning their first two Premier League titles.

The 'Special One' built a special team in west London with Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba creating an incredible spine of a team surrounded by other brilliant players.

Drogba became a Chelsea legend at two spells with the club and famously scored both the late equaliser and winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

The Ivorian has now retired from playing at the age of 40 and revealed that he nearly quit the Blues to return to Marseille after just one year in England, before a speech by Mourinho stopped him. Talking to the Mirror, Drogba said:

"There was a time after the first season I was looking for that comfort zone, which means going back to Marseille to be the only striker with the team playing for you.

"And then I heard Mourinho saying ­something really interesting to me and the team. He was ­talking about the players. He was saying, 'You know, if you want to be the only king, then go back to the team that you were playing and scoring for. Go back there.

"'But here, there's 22 kings. So you ­accept it, work ­together, or you go - go back to where you came from and be the only king where ­everybody is behind you.'

"I understood it. For me, this is the challenge I was ­expecting and I had done that with ­Marseille already. Now I had arrived at a team where even the centre-back had scored 10 or 15 goals in the season. Suddenly I thought, 'Wow, where is my place here?'

"I knew I needed to improve and that's what really challenged me and it's why I became the player that I was."

Drogba and Mourinho embrace after both men had returned to Stamford Bridge. Image: PA Images
Drogba and Mourinho embrace after both men had returned to Stamford Bridge. Image: PA Images

Drogba scored just 10 Premier League goals in his first season in the Premier League but did help Chelsea win the league, which they repeated a year later.

In all the former Marseille striker ended up with four league titles with the Blues, that Champions League win and four FA Cup wins too.

It's a good job Mourinho persuaded Drogba to stay, otherwise neither men would have had the same success they ended up with.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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