Moscow memories for Drogba
Didier Drogba wants to avoid a repeat of his Champions League melancholy and thinks his first final was an educational experience.
Last Updated: 19/05/12 9:01am
Didier Drogba wants to avoid a repeat of his Moscow melancholy and believes Chelsea's first UEFA Champions League final appearance was an educational experience.
Ahead of Saturday's return to Europe's showpiece club event, when the Premier League club will face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, the striker has been reminded of 2008.
For Drogba it will mean avoiding the loss of control that saw him sent off in Chelsea's only previous final four years ago, which saw Chelsea lose on penalties to Manchester United.
But the Ivorian thinks he and his team-mates were taught a valuable lesson in Moscow and he does not want there to be a repeat.
"It was a difficult moment for me and for the club as well," he said. "I apologised to the fans.
"It's one memory I cannot forget but, at the same time, it's the past.
"It was a good experience, a first Champions League final for Chelsea - an experience. Now I think we've learned from that."
The final defeat by United was one of seven Champions League failures for Drogba since joining Chelsea.
"I'm lucky to be playing Champions League games," he said. "When I was young, I used to watch the games on TV, when (Zinedine) Zidane scored that volley against (Bayer) Leverkusen - all these games.
"Every Champions League game is special for me. Every time I come on the pitch, I feel lucky, because I'm one of the few players able to play these kind of games.
"The Champions League doesn't really owe me anything. If I'm responsible for something, it's my club, my team-mates and the fans.
"I play for them. I have to perform for them."
Whatever happens, Drogba's place in Chelsea folklore is assured, according to interim first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo.
"He's brought Premier League trophies and cup competitions to us, scored many goals," Di Matteo said. "So, whatever happens tomorrow, he will be remembered as a legend at this club."