Drogba hails Di Matteo as Chelsea’s most memorable manager
The striker has not renewed his deal at Stamford Bridge and is reportedly closing in on a move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua where he would join ex-Blues team-mate Nicolas Anelka.
“I think we have had so many managers and all of them brought something special to Chelsea. All of them, I think, were part of our success,” he said.
“When [Jose] Mourinho came, he built up the spirit that we kept all these years. When Carlo Ancelotti came, he also brought another way of playing and thinking. So, it’s difficult to choose one.
“The most remembered would be Roberto Di Matteo for winning the Champions League. The club was waiting for that.”
Di Matteo signed a two-year permanent deal at Stamford Bridge recently after winning the FA Cup and European Cup after his taking over from Andre Villas-Boas, and Drogba admitted the win against Bayern Munich, in particular, was an unforgettable experience.
“Playing in the final was amazing. You have to be there at the Allianz Arena to feel the atmosphere,” said the Ivory Coast international as he recalled the win.
“It was like a dream, you know. The scenario was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
“There was lots of disappointment and sadness when we conceded a goal. A few minutes later, we equalised and then it went to the penalties.
“It was like a lottery but when I had the chance to score from the penalty, I went through a gamut of emotions from the time I started walking to the penalty spot.
“Many things came to my head but I tried to stay calm and score for my friend Petr Cech, who had been amazing that day, saving three penalties.”
The Blues endured criticism for their defensive approach on their way to the final against Benfica and then Barcelona, but the 34-year-old insisted this would not detract from the team’s achievements.
“There is more than one way to win in football. Barcelona and Manchester United have their own playing style and we, in Chelsea, have our own. Of course, we have to please our fans,” he responded.
“The beauty about football is that you can always improve.
“The Champions League win was important for Chelsea because people have been saying that Chelsea will try but nothing much will happen. We had been trying for eight years and reached the final before. This time we managed to win it.”