Chelsea may be favourites for the return leg of their Champions League clash with Galatasaray but in opposing striker Didier Drogba they have a former club legend out to spoil the Stamford Bridge party.
The Ivorian left the Blues on a high – scoring the winning penalty in the 2013 Champions League final – and the veteran forward could be the difference again, with Ladbrokes offering 9/1 on the striker opening the scoring with 10/3 available on an anytime goal.
“I have nothing to prove to this club. Everything I had to prove, I think I did it. I just want to win the game and qualify,” he told reporters.
Those words could well ring in the ears of Pensioners’ fans in the coming days – particularly if Drogba comes back to haunt them like these former stars.
Nicolas Anelka – Liverpool vs Manchester City May 3rd 2003
Nicolas Anelka may have had more clubs then most people have had hot dinners but after enjoying a successful loan spell at Liverpool in the 2001-02 season, many thought the Frenchman had finally found his place in the Premier League.
But Gerard Houllier had other ideas and after watching Senegal shock France at the World Cup, opted to sign El Hadj Diouf, cancelling a permanent move for Anelka. Le Sulk got his revenge the following season though, scoring twice for new club Manchester City in a 2-1 win, as Liverpool missed out on an automatic Champions League qualification spot.
Emmanuel Adebayor – Manchester City vs Arsenal September 12th 2009
Adebayor was cast firmly in the role of pantomime villain after engineering a big-money summer move to newly rich Manchester City and the travelling Arsenal fans were intent on letting him know that and plenty more besides when the Gunners travelled to the Etihad.
But it was the Togo man who would have the last laugh, scoring an excellent header that was then eclipsed by his extraordinary goal celebration – running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the supporters of the north London club.
Mario Gotze – Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich November 23rd 2013
Few transfers have riled neutrals as much as Mario Gotze’s move from the much-loved Borussia Dortmund to arch-enemies and all round German football hate figures Bayern Munich last summer, with the Bavarians shelling out €37 to activate the midfielders release clause.
Fast-forward to earlier in the season and with Dortmund keeping touch with a dominant Bayern side the two met at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund were missing three first team defenders but still fashioned chances in the opening hour, but any hopes of victory were crushed on 66 minutes by a goal from Gotze. BVB were down, shipping two more as Bayern set a course for the title.
Giovane Elber – Bayern Munich vs Olympique Lyonnais November 5th 2003
A rare example of a player coming back to haunt his old club in the Champions League, Elber amassed 92 goals in 169 games for Bayern before competition for places saw him ousted from the squad and shipped out to high-flying Lyon.
The two teams met in Munich with Bayern firm favourites for victory. It was fitting that Elber’s replacement Roy Makaay got the Bavarians back in the game after an early free-kick wonder goal from Juninho, but it was downright poetic justice to see Elber step up with a calmly-taken winner, which prompted tears from the Brazilian.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United vs Real Madrid February 13th and March 5th 2013
Another unforgettable Champions League moment came last term as the man dubbed ‘CR7’ returned to his old stomping ground of Old Trafford and duly crushed Sir Alex Ferguson’s hopes of landing a Champions League title in his farewell season.
It began in the opening leg in Madrid, with Ronaldo scoring a priceless equaliser to cancel out a Danny Welbeck opener that would have given United a deserved first leg lead. It happened again at Old Trafford, with a 10-man Red Devils team put to the sword by the Portuguese, who scored what proved to be the crucial goal in a 2-1 win. In both instances Ronaldo refused to celebrate.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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