Drogba - Torres is the future
Didier Drogba believes Fernando Torres can fill his boots at Chelsea and admits that UEFA Champions League glory was the perfect finale.
Last Updated: 23/05/12 8:10am
Didier Drogba believes Fernando Torres is the man to fill his boots at Chelsea and admitted that securing UEFA Champions League glory was the perfect finale to his Blues career.
The Ivory Coast international striker confirmed on Tuesday that he was bringing the curtain down on his eight-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba will forever be remembered as the man who brought the biggest prize in European club football to the West London side, with his final act in a Chelsea shirt scoring the winning penalty against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday night.
The 34-year-old's departure leaves Torres as the main man in attack, although the Spain international is still finding his feet at the club, despite having been there for nearly 18 months following his £50million move from Liverpool.
Torres spoke of his unhappiness of being a fringe player in the wake of the final, but Drogba expects him to take up a more prominent role next term.
"It's been difficult for him, but he has showed he is the man," he said.
"Next season is going to be his season and I will try to speak to him. We have a good relationship. We don't understand why we didn't play together more, but that's the past. Torres is the future."
Ever since Drogba signed from Marseille in 2004 Chelsea have been chasing the Champions League and, after so many near misses, the striker's final kick earned the prize they coveted so much, after earlier heading home a superb late equaliser.
The Ivorian admitted that had Bayern gone on to lift the trophy he would have considered extending his career at Stamford Bridge, but felt that going out on a high was a fitting denouement.
He said: "I think winning the game was the key. Not me scoring the penalty. Winning the game was the turning point, that's why I have decided to say goodbye.
"We made the story together and I want people to remember that. This is the best time to move on.
"Yes, there's a chance that if the result was different, maybe I would be here.
"We were talking for many weeks, but the turning point was based on the fact I won everything I could and scored in most of the finals we have played, trying to make a difference. I hope everyone will understand. Everything I did was for the fans and I hope they understand."
My blood is blue
It has been reported that Drogba's next move will take him to China to link up with former Blues team-mate Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua.
He would not confirm that, but did say that should Chelsea ever need him once his playing days are over, he will always be happy to answer their call.
"I would love to help Chelsea in any way, even if they tell me to come and cut the grass. I will do it," he said.
"Being here for eight years, it will be a big change. Players will go, some stay, but the club will remain as ambitious as it has always been. I am not worried. Chelsea was there before I came and always will be.
"It's impossible to forget this moment. Leaving Chelsea in any case would be difficult, but now even more. It is impossible, Chelsea is in my heart. My blood is blue and my heart even more so."