One of Didier Drogba’s many jobs now that he’s officially retired as a player is being Global Ambassador for Chelsea and shirt sponsors Yokohama. Over the next couple weeks, that involves traveling to India, Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam and participating in Q&As and other fan engagement activities.
But nobody wants to know what he thinks about tread depth and sidewall strength, of course. Everybody wants to ask him about Chelsea.
At the first appearance in Delhi, India, the legendary striker was happy to share his opinions.
On a new contract for Eden Hazard, whom he called “Prince of Stamford Bridge” not for the first time — it’s only fitting, with Drogba himself the King:
“He has to be the next one to sign.”
On Alvaro Morata’s very public struggles with confidence — a sympathetic take from a man who walked through the same fire pit, and had his own struggles especially early on.
“It’s definitely not easy. It happens to everyone to go through difficult moments. What mostly gets you through that period is the support of the fans. And Chelsea fans have been great to him, giving him all the support.
”Everyone, including me, was very happy when he started scoring again. He’s a really nice guy, and most importantly a great striker. You don’t play for Juventus and Real Madrid if you’re [not] good enough, and I think he’s great.”
On the relentless competition for places in the starting lineup at Chelsea.
“I think it’s cut out clearly for the players. If you don’t perform, the next guy would come and do it, and take your spot. There’s no other way, you have to work, improve and be better.
”Because when you’re in a competition, a fair competition, with the likes of Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, you know that if you don’t perform, these guys will come and score two goals and you have to sit in the bench for the next game. So you have to keep working hard, and that’s what I did.”
And on Maurizio Sarri and the metronome at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield, the man who keeps it all ticking, Jorginho.
“They’re bringing something different to Chelsea’s game. Jorginho touches the ball, I don’t know, one million times every match. And he’s like the heart of the team. He has adapted really fast to the league.”
It’s not as if we’d expect negative comments from a man who’s actively representing Chelsea in New Delhi.
Still, when the King speaks, we listen. And hopefully Chelsea and Eden are, too.