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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Drogba: Mourinho made me great

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has told The Sun of his respect for Jose Mourinho, who he will face in the Champions League knockout phase.

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Chelsea have been drawn against Drogba's current club Galatasaray in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg to take place on Feb. 26, 2014.

Drogba, who left the Blues in 2012, and Mourinho worked together at Stamford Bridge for three years, before the latter parted company with the club in 2007.

The Ivorian lifted the Premier League title twice under Mourinho's guidance and has spoken of his relationship with the Portuguese.

He said: “Mourinho came to get me! When Chelsea were thinking of signing me, it was him who came to see me.

“He said ‘If you want to be a great forward like Thierry Henry or Ruud van Nistelrooy, you have to come and play with me in England, at Chelsea’.

“It’s true I was a good player in the French league at the time but he made me one of the best in Europe. That’s why I, for Jose, was capable of going to the ends of the earth.”

Drogba explained how Mourinho instilled a winning mentality at Chelsea, adding: “Before Jose arrived Chelsea had good players. John Terry and Frank Lampard were quality players.

“When I arrived I already knew how to play football. Petr Cech also knew how to play football. But Jose transformed good players into winning players. We only thought about winning.

“He adores winning. The majority of coaches arrive at a club and say ‘I’ll try to win but it’ll be difficult’. He says ‘I’m here to win’ and he wins. That makes him special.

“Even after Mourinho left, that winning mentality stayed there. He left that legacy at Chelsea.”


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