Didier Drogba: There is more to come

 

Didier Drogba claimed he still had at least two years left to give at the highest level after rescuing Chelsea from the threat of Champions League elimination.

Drogba was at his bulldozing best in the Blues' 3-0 win over Valencia last night, which ensured they avoided crashing out of the competition before Christmas for the first time ever.

Four goals in four games has seen Drogba once again established as Chelsea's first-choice centre-forward, strengthening his position should talks over a new contract continue.

The 33-year-old's current deal expires in the summer and he is free to sign a pre-contract with a rival club in less than a month's time.

He has already pledged not to walk away in January amid reports he will not budge in his quest for a two-year extension, despite only one year being offered.

When asked if he still had a couple of years left in him among the elite, Drogba said: "I hope so."

The striker, who did not sign his first professional contract until he was 21, added: "I started late at a high level. I was 25 when I started to play my first Champions League games.

"I feel happy, I feel good on the pitch, I'm really enjoying myself, my football.

"When we're winning like this, I'm really delighted."

Drogba refused to elaborate on the prospect of him staying beyond next summer, though.

"My future, really, is not very important," he said.

"When the time will come, we'll speak about it. But, at the moment, we don't need to."

Winger Juan Mata, who set up both of Drogba's goals last night, wants his team-mate to stay, saying: "It is an individual decision between the club and Didier but for us it is important to have strikers like Didier, Fernando Torres and Salomon Kalou."

He added: "Didier is a super striker. He is strong and fast, scores goals and makes assists.

"He is very important for us and, against Valencia, he showed it."

Two weeks ago, the club appeared to hold all the aces in contract negotiations, with Drogba having scored just once in a season that saw him suffer a sickening head injury, get sent off in the west London derby and undergo arm surgery.

He said: "Injuries didn't help, the knock on the head, and the red card. Plus the surgery on my arm didn't help me to get my fitness.

"But now I'm having a little bit more games so I hope it's going to come back quickly."

Indeed, despite starting five of Chelsea's last six games and his vintage performance yesterday, Drogba denied he was back to his best.

"Not yet," he said.

"I have lost a lot of goals, and I hope this is something that my fitness will help me to improve."

Drogba admitted he and his team-mates began last night's game determined to avoid the humiliation of being remembered as the first Chelsea players to crash out of the Champions League before Christmas.

"We did the job because it was impossible for the club not to be in the Champions League," he said.

"The players are responsible for that.

"There was pressure but I think it was good pressure."

 

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most