"I'm the luckiest man in the Champions League," said Didier Drogba after finding out his Galatasaray AŞ side will meet former employers Chelsea FC in the round of 16.
Article top media content
Didier Drogba declared himself the "luckiest man" in the UEFA Champions League after the round of 16 draw paired his Galatasaray AŞ side with the team he helped win the trophy in 2012, Chelsea FC. Former colleagues David Luiz, Juan Mata and John Obi Mikel all expressed their delight at the return of the forward, but were in no doubt about the size of the task in hand. "It will be hard for us," said Luiz.
Didier Drogba, Galatasaray striker
What a draw. I'm the luckiest man in the Champions League. I'll play both games at home. See you in a few months!
Ünal Aysal, Galatasaray president
Chelsea are very strong opponents. We did not make a priority list before the draw. Galatasaray's strength is obvious – we can battle it out with any opponent. We had prepared ourselves for all eventualities.
Lutfi Arıboğan, Galatasaray chief executive
Chelsea were one of the teams we wanted to draw. There were some other sides we didn't really want, like Barcelona and Bayern München – they were on the blacklist. It will be a colourful match. Chelsea are Drogba's old club and [José] Mourinho will face Galatasaray again with his new team. Those are nice coincidences.
John Obi Mikel, Chelsea midfielder
I'm sure [Didier Drogba] will text very soon, it will be great to have him back. We shouldn't get carried away about him coming back; he is a player that was here for eight years, he won major trophies, he's a big player with a big personality. Obviously he had to move on but Chelsea continue, we have to win games, he's coming here with his new club Galatasaray who we want to beat, so we shouldn't get carried away about him coming back. We want to win the game.
They are a great team. Didier, Wesley [Sneijder], they have a good team and obviously they have Roberto Mancini who is trying to implement his philosophy and change the way they play. It will be tough but it's a game we're looking forward to. It will be good to meet old rivals, who you have played against in the past, as well as old team-mates. We know what to expect from their fans. They will be right behind their team and support them but it's up to us not to listen to them and make sure we go out there and play our game.
David Luiz, Chelsea defender
It will be hard for us. You can see how important it is for Galatasaray when they play at home – they qualified in the last game and beat a team like Juventus. It's good for us to play the second leg at home, but for sure you need to get a great result to qualify, that's why we need to get a great result in the first game. We have to think that we need to win that game because even if we draw 0-0 and they come here and score an away goal, it will become a very difficult game.
Juan Mata, Chelsea midfielder
We play against Galatasaray, we have Drogba at the Bridge again. He's been one of the most important players in Chelsea's history and someone I was lucky to play with, the season we won the Champions League. I guess he would be very excited about coming back. He did a lot of great things for this club and scored a lot of very important goals. In fact, he scored probably the most important goals in the history of this club.
David Barnard, Chelsea club secretary
It was written that Didier would come back to Stamford Bridge. Didier Drogba became a Chelsea legend and gave the supporters their finest moment in Munich. He will get a fantastic reception. Hopefully he will be so tired from soaking up the adulation he won't be able to play the game.