There's lots of good stuff in Chelsea new boy Juan Cuadrado's interview with the official site today (I'm not going to excerpt the whole thing, so read the link if you're interested), but there's one note which particularly struck me, and that's about some rather less new players. I'll let our latest signing set the stage:
I didn’t know any of the players personally before I joined, but obviously when I was younger I used to see some of them on television, players like Drogba and Terry. To now be on the same team as them, and to train with them every day is such a dream come true.
To think that when I was younger I really looked up to these champions, and now I’m playing with them. It’s a really big opportunity for me to learn and grow because they’re very experienced and they’ve won a lot of trophies.
One of the most fascinating aspects of following Chelsea for any length of time — I'm part of the generation that grew up with the mid–late ’90s side — is the changing perception of the club around the world over the years. We've gone from a team that's been beyond excited about signing Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli at the end of their careers to one which a new generation of stars grow up watching and admiring.
I can't help but think that much of the reason that Didier Drogba is back is to help provide this aura of glamour around the team. Not many of the senior generation of players are still active at a high level, at Chelsea or otherwise, and they're just one more tool that the club can point to as part of the recruitment process. 'You can play with Didier Drogba'. 'Sold'.