LONDON,January 26 -Didier Drogba said Sunday he wanted to remain a member of the Chelsea “family” beyond the end of the current English season.
The Ivory Coast forward made the announcement as he received the 2015 Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award at a dinner at London’s Savoy Hotel on Sunday.
Drogba returned to Stamford Bridge in pre-season, following spells in China and Turkey with Shanghai and Galatasaray respectively, but there has been no word yet from Chelsea chiefs as to what will happen to the forward when his current contract with the west London club expires.
But the 36-year-old made it clear Sunday he wanted to stay at Chelsea, even if he was no longer involved in a playing capacity beyond the end of the current campaign.
“When you have achieved so much and won so many trophies like we have done in the past 10 years, that creates something special,” said Drogba, who was powerless to prevent Chelsea losing 4-2 at home to third-tier Bradford City on Saturday in one of the greatest FA Cup upsets of them all.
“I hope, and the club makes me believe, I am part of this big family, so we are going to find the best thing for both of us to promote the club in the best way.”
Drogba added: “When I left this club (the first time), I was saying that I had done everything I wanted to do, but I think now that I did not do everything, I think there is more to do.
“I love this club and would love to be part of this club for the future, with the new players.”
– Mourinho praise –
Premier League leaders Chelsea have a chance to atone for their Bradford defeat when they face Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday, with the tie all square at 1-1.
“Everybody was disappointed and of course we are not proud of what happened (against Bradford), but the good thing is in two days we have another game, so we have to focus on this game and try to play better than we did at the weekend,” said Drogba.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, in his first spell with the Blues, brought Drogba to the club from Marseille in a £24 million ($40.7 million, 30.3 million euros) transfer in 2004.
Drogba went on to score 157 goals for Chelsea over an eight-year period and left the club in 2012 shortly after scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
In a personal tribute to Drogba in the FWA dinner programme, Mourinho wrote: “Throughout my career, I have always refused to say which is my favourite player or the best person, because so many have given soul and blood to play and to fight with me, but if I have to choose one who represents all the good things you want in a player and a man, I think in this moment I would choose Didier.”
Portuguese boss Mourinho added: “I can say that he is a phenomenal person.”