His humility matched his exceptional skills on the field — uncluttered and pleasing. He set the ball rolling with a warm “Namaste” and settled down to share his world of football at the Thyagaraj Nagar Sports Complex here. Didier Drogba was the centre of attraction.
Drogba was on his maiden visit to India to promote the Pepsi Twenty20 football finale. “I am very privileged to play football and travel all over. Many of my friends have not been here. I have,” the Ivory Coast player loved every moment of his interaction with the media.
He took questions without conditions barring the one related to his impending transfer after taking leave of Chelsea after eight glorious seasons. “They were the best eight years of my career. Playing for Chelsea was such a joy and winning the Champions League a dream coming true in Hitchcock style. We had been chasing it for eight years”
Drogba, who took part in the event along with M. S. Dhoni, Baichung Bhutia and Harbhajan Singh, confessed he knew little about cricket and the least about Indian football. “It took me time to understand the game. It is played far too long.” He revealed his kids were enjoying cricket at school.
In comparison, Drogba underlined the reach of football. “It is the No. 1 game in the world. You enter the arena and know it is something special. I am sure there will be competition for cricket in India in the coming years.”
Curse of racism
He did not shy away from speaking his mind on ending the curse of racism. “Football is a social sport with players from different culture. Racism exists but those who make the stupid remarks know nothing about life.”
Droga welcomed the infusion of youth but warned it was not the solution. “You can't always win with young or old. You need a mix and need to adapt. As seniors, we can give confidence to the youngsters. At Chelsea, we had great spirit, different individual movements but great as a team.”
He concluded by saying he was content after winning the Champions League. “I won everything.”
Keywords: Didier Drogba