Arguably the most clutch scorer in soccer outside of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba proved his worth to Chelsea's management yet again after a historic Champions League final performance.
In the championship game on Saturday, Drogba netted the game-tying goal in the 88th minute in a moment where many were ready to crown Bayern Munich the European champions. The header was struck with the utmost power into the top-right corner, giving top-notch goalkeeper Manuel Neuer no shot at a save.
The Blues would go on to win after going scoreless in extra time, as Bayern Munich failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities in the 30 minutes of added time. Those opportunities included a penalty that was struck especially poorly to the bottom right corner of the goal by Arjen Robben, allowing Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to get there with plenty of time.
What made this final so compelling was the masterful, graceful play of Didier Drogba. He was setting the pace with his play and was easily the strongest player on the pitch for the Blues. Drogba's five shots and two shots on goal were both team-best figures.
In spite of scoring just 12 goals for Chelsea this season—a career-low for the world-class striker—Drogba was able to prove himself in the clutch yet again in what was one of the biggest victories in the London club's history.
The eventual win on penalties was not just any win, it was the first Champions League title Chelsea has ever hoisted.
There is no question that the 34-year-old striker has lost a step or two in his game, but it was clear from his performance that the Blues cannot let this talent go. Drogba was able to keep his composure and deliver in the final two minutes, despite Chelsea being outplayed by Munich for the majority of the second half.
It is plays like those, and a winning goal in the penalty shootout, that makes Drogba stand out. Drogba has the intangibles, the outright toughness and skill that we seldom see in the sport.
In spite of his mileage and inconsistent play this season, there is no question that Chelsea must sign Drogba to a contract soon. His performance was as promising an indicator as any that the top-notch forward can still make major contributions on the pitch.
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