Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba has revealed how his former Blues’ teammate, Juan Mata helped him win the 2012 UEFA Champions League.
Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties in the final to win their first Champions League trophy eight years ago at the Allianz Arena.
Thomas Mueller put the host in front with eight minutes left to the end of the match before Didier Drogba equalised for the Premier League giant following an assist from Mata as the encounter ended 1-1 after 120 minutes.
“Eight years ago, the manager [Andre Villas-Boas] had been sacked by the club, and we, the players, had a team meeting where we recognised being partly responsible for his departure,” Drogba wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night.
“The captain @johnterry spoke, @franklampard @petrcech and other leaders in the team too.
“We decided to all give the Champions League everything, despite our defeat 4-1 to Napoli.
“We had been chasing this trophy for 8 years and could not do better than runners up. Everyone agreed to put egos aside and challenge each other for the same goal.
“After that meeting, I asked a young 23-years-old @juanmatagarcia ‘please Maestro, help me win the champions league.’
“He looked at me like ‘man you are crazy, you are Didier Drogba you are gonna help me win it.’
“I then told him I have been here for eight years and never won it, so I believe you are the one who is gonna help us win.
“I will even give you a present if we win it, that was February ending.
“Three months later, we were in Munich, in the Champions League final, in their stadium, submerged with a red wave.
“The hosts took the lead with eight minutes to go and on my way to kick the ball for the last 8 minutes I was so discouraged, the young man [Mata] said to me ‘believe Didi, you have to believe,’ almost in tears I answered after looking at the time score “believe in what? It’ is almost over, I am gonna cry like a few months ago when I lost the final with Côte d’Ivoire.
“Last minute, last corner, I mean the first corner for us against 18 for Bayern Munich.
“Guess who took that corner kick… @juanmatagarcia and the rest is history. The lesson is ALWAYS BELIEVE!”