Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Didier Drogba expected Chelsea to return to Champion League final sooner


Didier Drogba has admitted he fell into the trap of thinking Chelsea would be back in the Champions League final a year after losing to Manchester United.

But Drogba is under no illusions that Saturday's showdown with Bayern Munich is almost certain to be his last shot at European glory and one he is desperate to take.

This weekend's Allianz Arena clash is set to bring down the curtain on Drogba's glittering career at Stamford Bridge, with the striker out of contract at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old was won every domestic honour going in England - multiple times - but the Champions League has proven elusive, never more so than in Moscow four years ago when Chelsea were within a penalty kick of clinching it.

Drogba said: "After Moscow, we thought that we were going to get to the final the next year.

"But that's Champions League - it's very difficult to reach the final and I think it shows how much we deserve to be there today."

Drogba was as much to blame as anybody for Chelsea's defeat to United, with then manager Avram Grant revealing John Terry would have been spared the doomed penalty that would have won the final had his team-mate not been sent off.

This season's FA Cup triumph reinforced Drogba's status as the king of domestic cup finals but it has been a different story on the biggest stages, with two agonising African Nations Cup final defeats also on his CV.

He said: "I've got a lot of disappointments but I've also got a lot of great moments in finals so I'm going to try to make sure that, for my team-mates, this one is a great one."

Drogba, who has been linked with a surprise summer move to Barcelona, has spoken before of his determination to make amends for Moscow on Saturday but he is keen not to dwell on past failures.

"It's not good to speak about the past because we have a great moment here," he said.

"I could speak with you about Bayern Munich and the next Champions League final rather than speak about the other final."

Admitting this weekend's clash was "one of the biggest games" of his career, he added: "I've played a lot with Chelsea but this one is going to be special because it's only the second time we have reached the Champions League final.

"So we are going to do everything to go there and be ready to play against this German team."