History of Chelsea's Number 11
One of Chelsea’s number 11’s scored the most important goal in the club’s history and is now a legend of the club. The current Chelsea 11 is a proven winner and has impressed this season, helping the club win the Premier League title for the 5th time. But who else joins Didier Drogba and Pedro on the prestigious list of Chelsea players to have worn the number?
We’ll start off in 1990 when Dennis Wise joined Chelsea for a club record fee of £1.6m from Wimbledon and went on to become a Chelsea great. Wise wore the number 11 shirt for 11 years (funnily enough) and bagged 76 goals during his stay at Stamford Bridge from midfield. In 1993, Glenn Hoddle made Wise captain after the departure of Andy Townsend and the first silverware he lifted was in 1997 as Chelsea lifted the FA Cup at Wembley. European honours followed alongside more domestic cup success before Wise left Chelsea in 2001. He was named Player of the Year on two occasions and was placed 4th on the all-time Chelsea appearance list.
After a brief spell with Bolo Zenden, the number 11 found itself with Irishman, Damien Duff, after he joined Chelsea from Blackburn in 2003. Duff went on to win 2 league titles with the blues under Jose Mourinho and became a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. The most memorable Chelsea moment for Duff was probably his goal against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in a famous 4-2 victory while he also scored the winner against Manchester United in the League Cup semi-final in 2005.
Now onto the most famous Chelsea number 11 in history and a club hero: Didier Drogba. Drogba didn’t always have the number 11 shirt, he started off with number 15 after signing from Marseille in 2004 because Duff held the shirt at the time. The Ivorian went on to win 4 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups and the Champions League – he really was part of a golden age in Chelsea history. Drogba scored 157 times in Chelsea blue with the most important one in the Allianz Arena in Munich, in the 88th minute. Drogba headed in from a corner to equalise for Chelsea in the Champions League final with moments to spare, he then went on to score the winning penalty in the shoot-out to cement himself into Chelsea folklore. He really was the man for the big occasion with 9 goals in 9 cup final appearances at Chelsea. He left Chelsea in 2012 but returned in 2014 to win the Premier League once more, taking his number 11 shirt off Oscar in the process.
At the moment, Pedro holds the number 11 shirt and his performances have drastically improved since swapping from number 17. Pedro scored 13 goals in the 2016/17 season after only managing 8 the season before and has played as a forward and a wing back in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation. Before he came to Stamford Bridge he was a serial winner with Barcelona, winning the Champions League 3 times, and Chelsea fans will be hoping the success he’s had this season is just the beginning for Pedro in West London.