Didier Drogba: Chelsea re-sign club legend on free transfer

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba's last touch for Chelsea was the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Bayern Munich

Striker Didier Drogba has re-signed for Chelsea on a one-year deal.

The Ivorian, 36, won 10 trophies at Chelsea from 2004 to 2012 and was a free agent after leaving Galatasaray.

Manager Jose Mourinho had earlier said the forward "belongs" at Stamford Bridge - but that any deal would be made "in a non-emotional way".

Drogba told Chelsea's official site:external-link "It was an easy decision - I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again."

He said: "Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me.

"My desire to win is still the same and I look forward to the opportunity to help this team. I am excited for this next chapter of my career."

Drogba's career at Chelsea
Debut: v Manchester United, 15 August 2004
First goal: v Crystal Palace, 24 August 2004
Appearances: 341
Goals: 157
Honours: Premier League: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10; FA Cup: 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12; League Cup: 2004-05, 2006-07 Champions League: 2011-12
Premier League top goalscorer: 2007, 2010

Mourinho said: "He's coming because he's one of the best strikers in Europe.

"I know his personality very well and I know if he comes back he's not protected by history or what he's done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history."

Drogba, who joined Chelsea from Marseille for £24m in July 2004, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a Champions League during his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba wrote on his Instagram account: "So CFC offered me the opportunity to create more history with these guys - how could I say no? Thanks to the club and can't wait to see the fans again"

He left the club in 2012 after scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

After a brief spell at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, Drogba joined Galatasaray in January 2013 and scored five goals in 13 league games as the Turkish club won the title.

The following season, the striker netted 10 times in 32 games as Galatasaray reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League - where they lost to Chelsea - and finished as runners-up to Fenerbahce in the Turkish league.

The Ivory Coast international was voted Chelsea's greatest ever player in a poll of fans in 2012 and has spoken of his close ties to the Blues.

His 34 goals for Chelsea in European competition remains a club record, as do his nine strikes in nine cup finals.

Drogba and Terry
Drogba made an emotional return to Stamford Bridge last season with Galatasary in the Champions League quarter-finals

Mourinho had previously said: "If you bring him back it is not because he is Didier or scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea, or because I read I need an assistant, no.

"We want to win matches and win titles and Didier is one of the best strikers in Europe. He is still very adapted to the needs of the Premier League and we are thinking about it in a non-emotional way."

Mourinho also intimated that Drogba, who made one start and two substitute appearances during the Ivory Coast's three games at the 2014 World Cup, would be a squad player.

He joins Fernando Torres, new signing Diego Costa, as well as Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses, who both spent last season out on loan, as striking options at Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba
Drogba beats Manuel Neuer at the Allianz Arena in May 2012 as Chelsea won the Champions League final
Didier Drogba
Drogba wins the Champions League for the first time in Chelsea's history
Didier Drogba
The Didier Drogba banner at Stamford Bridge

Top Stories