Drogba keeping in top shape

Star striker striving to keep himself in peak condition

Drogba: In good shape

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Didier Drogba insists he has the strength to cope with the demands of the Premier League after finding a new way to get the best out of his body.

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"Last season was the best of my career at 32. I'm coping with the knocks better, the twisting, the falls. This is all thought through."

Didier Drogba

Quotes of the week

The striker has been unable to help reigning champions Chelsea sidestep a recent dip in form, despite scoring his eighth goal of the season during the Blues' 1-1 draw at home to Everton on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side have now managed just one win from their last six league games and have slipped to third in the table, with a crucial fixture list of Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United, Bolton, Aston Villa and Wolves looming over the festive period.

However, 32-year-old Drogba has turned to little-known treatment 'Fasciatherapy', where patients are massaged and taught to reduce physical and mental tension.

And the Ivorian ace feels the process will help him maintain fitness over what promises to be a taxing Christmas and New Year period for the Blues.

Demanding

Drogba said in The Sun: "Being naturally fit isn't enough, unless you are a football genius which I'm not. I play 50 games or so a season. Can I keep up with this pace and still play well?

"I need very specific attention at my age. Otherwise, I would play 30-40 games a season, not more, whereas the highest level means playing twice a week.

"After some of the clashes I've had, I would have been out for a month. Certain scars need three weeks to heal. But I can come back now in 10 days. I handle fatigue better, so I train flat out. Before, you couldn't speak to me 48 hours after a game."

Drogba feels Fasciatherapy, which sees patients massaged in specific areas of the body in the belief it will help the membranes around the internal organs after trauma, speeds up his recovery from any knocks and the physical fatigue which can follow testing encounters.

"I've reached the level I have today because of in-depth work," he added.

"Last season was the best of my career at 32. I'm coping with the knocks

better, the twisting, the falls. This is all thought through. Chelsea will play games on December 27 and 29, January 2 and 5.

"It's anti-physiological to play again 48 hours after a game. The lactic acid builds up, you're at your most tired.

"With this therapy, I can gain 24 hours in my recovery."

Mental

Despite striving to keep his body in peak physical condition, Drogba admits he would rather beat his opposition mentally.

"I'm not a warrior. I can take punishment for 90 minutes and then score with a crafty move," he said. "I'm essentially a shy guy. I keep things inside.

"When I see myself on TV with this mad look, which is so aggressive, I tell myself 'That's not me'. Adrenalin transforms me, it allows me to do things that change matches.

"It's not about smashing up opponents. I don't resort to such primitive solutions. I want to beat my defender in a mental way."