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Didier Drogba ‘to play to win’ against Chelsea

REUNION: Drogba scores the winning penalty to win Chelsea the Champions League in 2012 (PA)

CHELSEA FANS will never forget what Didier Drogba did for the club during his incredible eight years in west London.

His final touch of the ball in a blue shirt was scoring the penalty that won Chelsea the Champions League in 2012 against Bayern Munich on their own patch at the Allianz Arena.

The powerful striker is simply a legend among supporters of the Premier League leaders.

And Drogba is well-documented to have loved his time playing for Chelsea, but the love affair will have to be put on hold tonight (Feb 26) as the Ivorian’s current club take on his old one in the Champions League.

Drogba will face Jose Mourinho’s side in a Galatasaray shirt against some of the players with whom he spent the best years of his career.

It is bound to be an emotional prospect, and a strange one for Drogba and Chelsea fans, who will know for the first time what it is like to be fearing the sheer force and skill of the potent African forward.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Drogba said his professionalism means he will give his all to helping his Turkish team overcome the only English side left in the tournament that has not yet played its last-16 tie.

“If I play it is to win”, the 35-year-old frontman said.

“Anything can happen. If there's a one per cent chance of us winning. I'll believe it.

“It will be difficult, you don't stay eight years in a place you don't like, especially in football - it is very emotional.

“I love Chelsea but I play for Galatasaray now and I will give everything for them.”

How could Drogba not love Chelsea? After all, he was loved at the club, by the fans, his team-mates, managers and probably owner Roman Abramovich for his ability to find the net in practically every circumstance.

He scored 157 goals for the club in 342 games between 2004 and 2012, and was Mourinho’s first major signing when the Portuguese boss arrived for his first stint as the self-proclaimed “Special One”.

Looking back at what he did, Drogba added: “When you're happy at a club, you want to stay forever.

“But sometimes you can't do everything you want to do. I am proud of what I achieved.”

Rumours have surfaced that Chelsea’s current striker problem – only 17 league goals have been scored so far this season by the club’s main three forwards – means Drogba could return to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Drogba did not dismiss the speculation, and said: “There are lots of ifs. Rome wasn't built in a day. It is only if and if and if. We are not there yet.”

And the big if Chelsea will fear tonight is the one which involves Drogba scoring the winning goal that threatens their interest in club football’s most prestigious tournament, for it will only illuminate what exactly they are missing up front.

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