Chelsea Legend has set his sights on making history for Chelsea again and helping them win the Champions League for a second time.
Europe’s premier club competition returns this week with Arsenal facing Borussia Dortmund away tomorrow, 24 hours before Chelsea begin their group campaign at home against another German side, Schalke.
Wednesday’s match at Stamford Bridge could see Drogba play his first Champions League game for the Blues since scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Final.
The striker was rested for the 4-2 victory over Swansea on Saturday with a minor ankle problem. He may start against Schalke in place of top scorer Diego Costa, who has been suffering with hamstring issues and may not be risked ahead of Sunday’s trip to title rivals Manchester City.
Drogba, who returned to Stamford Bridge this summer after two years away, is determined to help the club get off to a good start in the competition and believes they have what it takes to add to their triumph in Munich.
“Now we have a Champions League title at this club I think expectation is a bit higher because everybody wants us to do it again — so let’s go for it,” said the 36-year-old striker.
“During the first few weeks I was here, of course you look back and think ‘it was like this and that before’ but I came back because I want to make history again. That’s what I said the first time I was here and nothing has changed.
“We are happy at the moment with the way we are playing and the way the team is responding. We have started well but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
When Chelsea claimed the trophy in 2012, they struggled to qualify from their group and it took victory over Valencia in their final match to secure a place in the knock-out phase. Drogba is urging his side not to leave it so late this time and added: “I hope it’s not the same again. I hope we are going to go well and finish first.
“But finishing first doesn’t mean anything now in the Champions League because you can still draw one of the big teams if you finish top. All it means is that you receive the second leg at home in the next round.”
The former Ivory Coast international has applauded the club’s signing of Loic Remy from Queens Park Rangers, even though he is a rival for first-team football. Remy scored his first goal since his £10.5million arrival in the team’s impressive display against Swansea.
Remy (left) started his career in France, where he made his mark at Nice and at Drogba’s former club Marseille, and the Chelsea veteran has long been a fan. Drogba said:
“I’m really happy that he came here to sign for us because he is perfect for this team.
“When he was playing in Nice, I used to watch him play and say, ‘I like his style, I like his agility, I like the way this guy is giving everything and scoring nice goals’.
“When he signed for Marseille, to find out he was also wearing No11 [the number Drogba wore when he was at Marseille] made me proud because this number has a good history.”