Jose Mourinho has revealed what he told Roman Abramovich in order to sign Didier Drogba for Chelsea: “Pay, and don’t speak”.
Drogba was one of Mourinho’s first signings when the Portuguese coach arrived in English football, and the Ivorian striker went on to dominate the Premier League with 157 goals in all competitions for the Blues.
Mourinho’s side to back-to-back League title and the League Cup trophy, but their partnership was cut short when the coach was sacked in 2007 – an incident which reportedly left Drogba in tears.
Drogba remained at Stamford Bridge until 2012, leaving the summer after scoring the winning penalty kick in the Champions League final shootout against Bayern Munich.
The forward returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 to work with Mourinho once again, and the duo won another League title together before Drogba left for Canada the following summer.
Russian billionaire Abramovich is not known as a man who is used to being told how to spend his money without a say, but Mourinho was proved right in making his abrupt transfer request as Drogba signed from Marseille and went on to become a Stamford Bridge legend.
“Drogba is the kind of guy who is so loyal that he never forgot that I took him from Marseille to the Premier League, where he was not even expected, because he didn’t start very young at that level,” he told beIN SPORTS.
“He had already played for Guingamp, Marseille, Le Mans, so when I took him to Chelsea I remember clearly Abramovich was asking me, ‘Who? Who do you want as a striker?’
“With all the big names in Europe at that time I said Drogba. ‘Who is he? Where’s he playing?’ (I said) ‘Mr Abramovich – pay. Pay, and don’t speak.’
“And Didier was an iconic player for Chelsea, for the Premier League.”