Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has opened up about his conversation with Juan Mata which led to the unforgettable night in Munich in 2012.
For the majority of the 2011/12 season, things did not go well at Chelsea.
By March, they were fifth in the table, manager Andre Villas-Boas was axed from his position and it looked like Chelsea were heading for an even worse period as they struggled in the Champions League.
However, Drogba revealed on Twitter that, after Villas-Boas’ sacking, the team, led by captain John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and other leaders in the dressing room, had a meeting and they recognised that they were partly responsible for it.
They decided to give it all on the Champions League despite the devastating 3-1 loss against Napoli.
Drogba said: “We had been chasing this trophy for eight years and couldn’t do better than [finish as] runners up.
“Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each other for the same goal.
“After that meeting, I asked a young 23-year-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 going to help me win it’.”
Drogba said he still believed that Mata would be the one who was going to help Chelsea win their holy grail.
But, after Thomas Muller’s goal in the 83rd minute of the game, it looked like it was over for the Blues and Drogba.
Drogba said: “The young man [Mata] said to me, ‘Believe Didi, you have to believe’. Almost in tears, I answered after looking at the time: ‘Believe in what? It’s almost over’.”
The former Ivory Coast international scored the most memorable header in Chelsea history from the Blues’ first corner after Bayern previously had 18 in-a-row.
Drogba closed the story saying: “Guess who took that corner kick… Juan Mata and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!”
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 19, 2020