DROGBA: I ASKED GOD TO PROVE HIMSELF TO ME
For every Chelsea Fan Didier Drogba is a legend unquestionably. But do you know he is very religious nature today and firm faith in God emanated from that Night in Munich in 2012. Chelsea had become unexpected finalists in the UEFA champions League and who were their opponents? Home team and Perennial contenders Bayern Munich.
In a glittering career that spanned eight clubs, seven different countries, 15 winners’ medals it took that night for the previously religiously carefree Drogba to be touched by a piece of divine intervention during Chelsea’s 2012 European conquest.
The late equaliser and winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the final of the Champions League, which proved to be the last kick of his first eight-year spell at Chelsea, in many ways characterises the fairy-tale nature of Drogba’s story.
But it is God who Drogba credits for the moment that will live with him for ever, saying: “I had some conversations with God on the pitch and that night I challenged Him and said ‘OK, if you really exist, now show me’. He knew he was on his last legs at Chelsea and the chance of another Champions League Final with his beloved Blues would be highly unlikely.
“That’s how that goal came. On that last corner, I was telling God ‘now I want to see that you really exist’. So, when I scored and I ran to the corner flag, and I was looking to the sky, I was lost, I was saying ‘he does really exist’.
“That’s how me and my faith, and connection with God began. That’s the only way I can explain what happened because there was no way we were going to go to Bayern Munich in front of their fans, losing 1-0, I score the equaliser, give away a penalty that Petr Cech saves, then the last kick and I score. It could have been a movie and it’s something I will never forget.”
Drogba’s determination to achieve his dreams was first tested as a 16-year-old, five years before he signed his first professional contract, when his father, Albert, stopped him from playing football to concentrate on his studies.
“When I was not studying well, my dad would stop me from playing,” said Drogba. “For him, football was not as important as school. Now, everyone is pushing their kids to become football players. But my dad was like ‘no, it’s not a secure job, you get injured and you lose everything’.
“He stopped me for a year. I was 16 and if I kicked a ball it was when I was hiding. But I’m a dreamer. No matter what you say to me, if I have an ambition to do something, I will do anything to get there and that’s what I did.
“I had to be smart, so the best way was to work well at school, please my dad and keep him happy. And then I went to him and said ‘there’s a football team there, I just want to go and play one sport’. He said ‘OK, go’. So, I went back to the club and I went back to him and said ‘I’ve found my sport, it’s football’.”
It still took until Drogba was 22 and had forced his way into the first team of Ligue 2 club Le Mans that Albert changed his mind over his son’s football career.