Having finally got his hands on the UEFA Champions League trophy, Chelsea FC striker Didier Drogba struggled to find the words to express his emotion after a match-winning display in Munich.
Sent off in Chelsea's final defeat four years ago, the Ivorian looked destined for more misery when Thomas Müller nodded FC Bayern München into an 83rd-minute lead, only to reply with a bullet header of his own five minutes later. Fortune turned again for Drogba at the start of extra time when he felled Franck Ribéry inside the Chelsea penalty area, but Petr Čech came to his rescue by saving Arjen Robben's penalty.
When the Chelsea goalkeeper denied Ivica Olić and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the ensuing shoot-out, it gave Drogba the chance to take the trophy to Stamford Bridge for the first time. The 34-year-old made no mistake and, as he collected his man of the match award from UEFA's technical study group, he struggled to gather his thoughts. "
I'm really happy and I don't know if there are enough words to describe how I feel now. Today I'm smiling; in Moscow it was very difficult, very painful for the players, club and fans; today we managed to change it."
"Again, it was an amazing, crazy game – conceding a goal minutes from the end, equalising. We gave everything. I don't know if we have enough energy to party tonight but we're going to find it."
Drogba missed a penalty in the Ivory Coast's defeat by Zambia in February's Africa Cup of Nations final, and admitted that was on his mind as he made the long walk from the Fußball Arena München's centre circle. "I was confident but I still had in my head the African Nations Cup, when I could have won the game for my team so it was very difficult. Petr Čech is the best goalkeeper in the world and made some great saves – I wanted to do it for him and everyone else. I wanted to make everyone smile and I did."
The striker is out of contract this summer, raising the possibility that the winning kick could be his last for Chelsea, although he was keen to keep the focus on the club's achievement rather than his personal situation. "I've been here for eight years and always so close but so far at the same time. Today we have it – the cup is coming back to Stamford Bridge and it's the best feeling ever. What a way to do it; now we can enjoy [it], have fun and party.
"The most important thing is not my future; the most important thing is what we achieved today, the way the players fought to win the cup and the way the fans supported us even when we conceded. The way we've played in this season's Champions League, the way we turned things round and the way we played against Napoli and Barcelona – we deserved to win. We're great champions."
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