Didier Drogba hails Chelsea heroes for taking down the final piece of Roman Abramovich’s puzzle


Chelsea won their first Club World Cup title on Saturday by beating Brazilian side Palmeiras 2-1 with an extra-time penalty scored by Kai Havertz.

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Chelsea v Palmeiras: the game in pictures

The shadow of the past successes of Chelsea and its great players hangs over future generations.

But now the current team have done something that even Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard could not have achieved in their glory years.

Chelsea won the Club World Cup and added the final piece to the jigsaw with the only trophy missing since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003 and built an incredible success story.

Drogba, 43, one of Chelsea’s all-time greats, believes his generation inspired the teams that followed and the club have now won Abramovich’s lot.

Drogba said: “That was the ambition when I joined the club in 2004 and we started by winning the League, the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and all those domestic trophies.

Kai Havertz scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the Club World Cup final



“Then we tried and we managed to achieve the one with the big ears (the Champions League). The goal was to win the trophies, but also to inspire the next generations, players like Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, all the guys, to inspire them and hopefully win another trophy.

“That’s exactly what they did, another Champions League and then because they’re competitors they remember that they lost the one, the FIFA Club World Cup, in 2012, so they knew how important it was for the club, now I’m here and I celebrate with them too.

“There’s not much to say about Roman Abramovich because we can see all his achievements since he joined the club, what he’s done for this club – he’s put it on another level But he writes I think the best pages of the club and I think we are very happy to have him.

“It’s amazing for the club to be on top of the world. What a year for Chelsea, what a year.

Kai Havertz scored the late penalty to beat Palmeiras in extra time but it was also Romelu Lukaku who opened the scoring with a header, after netting the winner in the semi-final.

These were two big moments for Lukaku who, since his £97.5million move last summer, has struggled for form, fitness and Drogba says the Belgium forward has put “extra pressure on himself giving his now infamous interview, saying he wanted to go back to Italy.

Drogba has been close with Lukaku since the striker’s first spell at Chelsea, they speak on the phone and legend believes the pretender to his throne will be stronger for the experience.

Drogba said: “He took his responsibility to speak up and put a bit more pressure on himself. Obviously, each player always has something to prove and will always want to do better, but he’s there, big game, he scored the goal to give us the advantage and I’m happy with this performance.

“I’m really happy because I spoke and after that I put pressure on myself but I spoke because I knew I could handle that pressure. Maybe I also needed him to perform and it’s good to see that his mentality is positive.

Chelsea were crowned world champions after beating Palmeiras

“I hope he learned from me, I hope he did! He’s a goalscorer, he’s done that before and he’s going through a tough time, but bouncing back on that kind of trophy will give him confidence.

Chelsea have been so smart using their great players from the past. Drogba is a club ambassador, Lampard was manager, John Terry now works at the academy as he seeks a managerial position and Petr Cech is technical director.

In some clubs, their presence could intimidate current players. But Chelsea players have to be used to the pressure and expectation levels to always win trophies.

They’ve kept that winning feeling over the years and it’s something Thomas Tuchel has embraced and this is, incredibly, his third trophy in 13 months. The Champions League, the Super Cup and now an unprecedented Club World Cup.

No wonder they don’t mind having big guys like Drogba hanging around. His winning mentality is clearly contagious.

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