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Featured Image Credit: PA/Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba revealed that he pleaded with Juan Mata to help him win the Champions League with Chelsea -- and the former Blues star delivered in the final.
Chelsea experienced an up-and-down 2011-2012 season as Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and replaced with Roberto Di Matteo.
And the Blues were on the verge of going out of the Champions League after they suffered a first-leg 3-1 defeat to Napoli in their round-of-16 tie.
Drogba, 42, has taken to Twitter and explained how the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech stepped up during a team meeting and how the players recognised they were "partly responsible" for Villas-Boas' dismissal.
The Chelsea hero, who retired from football in 2018, also opened up about his exchange with Mata over a series of tweets.
"Eight years ago, the Manager [sic] had been sacked by the club and we, the players had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure," Drogba wrote.
"The captain [John Terry] spoke, [Frank Lampard] [Petr Cech] 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 over [sic] 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,' 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."
Chelsea mounted a successful comeback against Napoli in the second leg and continued to march all the way to the final against Bayern Munich.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 83rd minute at the Allianz Arena and Drogba admitted that he was "so discouraged."
But the Ivorian former striker would cross paths with Mata again on the pitch and the Spaniard told him to believe as Drogba was on the verge of tears.
Drogba tweeted: "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. Last minute, last corner, I mean first corner for us against eighteen for Bayern Munich.
"Guess who took that corner kick... [Mata] and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!!!!"
Mata whipped in a corner only minutes after Muller's opener and Drogba connected with a powerful header past Manuel Neuer.
Only the Manchester United midfielder would miss his spot-kick effort for the Blues during the shootout as Chelsea sealed a 4-3 win on penalties.