By 90Min
November 22, 2018

It's not a game many Chelsea fans will enjoy reliving, though it is one that they inevitably have on timeless occasions since its occurrence on May 6th, 2009. 

Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona. 

It looks so innocuous just sitting there without context. But that is not the word most fans would use to describe it, Chelsea or otherwise. 'Unbelievable' maybe, 'unforgettable' perhaps, or simply 'outrageous'.

Tom Jenkins/GettyImages

But no one would put it as eloquently as the recently retired, and everlasting Blues legend Didier Drogba, when he infamously shouted to the twitching cameras at full-time: "It's a disgrace, it's a disgrace, it's a f*cking disgrace."

It is the defining quote of Drogba's career, and has become far more synonymous with this match than either of Andres Iniesta or Michael Essien's world class goals. But, more importantly, while at the time all it earned the Ivorian was widespread (if understanding) criticism and a two-match European ban, in hindsight it confirmed his status as a Chelsea legend long before the heroics of 2012. 

Just as the context was necessary for that scoreline, it is necessary to underline Didier's relationship with the club in 2009. 

Having been sent off in the preceding year's Champions League final for a petulant slap on Manchester United centre back (and one of the first truly worthy recipients of 'Ooh You're Hard') Nemanja Vidic, the striker was staring down the barrel in west London.

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

Even before that semi final at Stamford Bridge against Barça, there were rumours of the forward cutting ties with the team. He was 31 after all, and his contract was due to expire the following summer. This explicit outburst only seemed to push him closer to the exit door, with Roman Abramovich apparently unimpressed with the proceedings. 

It is with deep irony, then, that his unabridged eruption of anger instead tied him indelibly to the club. Because at that moment he was not just a disgruntled player. He was an emotionally unstable, inconsolable, uncontrollable FAN

In those five seconds of release, he transcended the barriers of professionalism that usually inhibit players from speaking their mind, and told it like it was. He spoke straight from the mouth of every man and woman wearing blue that night, in a far more impactful and succinct way than we ever could.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

After a summer of swirling speculation, and U-turns galore from both player and club, Drogba signed a new three-year deal on August 5th 2009, designed to keep him until the summer of 2012.

When the time came, the unrivalled composure and 'clutchness' shown on that famous night in Munich - the most celebrated of the club's history - buried the pre-existing demons and anointed the king. 

By that point, there were a myriad of reasons for this rightful coronation: he was the club's fourth highest goalscorer of all-time, the leading European goalscorer in their history and the only player to ever both score in and win both English domestic cup finals in the same season.

But, in truth, his legendary fate had already been sealed on that fateful night in SW6, when he spoke his truth as a true blue, with an emotion that can only come from a place of true fandom.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)