Didier Drogba says Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Carles Puyol are the three toughest defenders he has faced during his career.
The 37-year-old scored the winning goal against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup final and was sent off for slapping Vidic in extra time of the 2008 Champions League final that Chelsea went on to lose on penalties.
Drogba also faced Puyol eight times during his career but only managed to score three on three occasions during Chelsea’s Champions League matches against Barcelona.
In an interview with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport, Drogba was asked by the former United defender to name the toughest defenders he’s played against.
“I’ve always said you and Vidic,” Drogba replied. “I will say when I was scoring against Manchester United I was really, really happy because I didn’t score much against them.
“So for me to score against you guys, it means that I had a good game!
“So, you two and Carles Puyol. Because he’s tough and a very good defender, but he’s a gentleman.”
Drogba arrived at Chelsea from Marseille in 2004 and the Ivory Coast international admits he needed to change his playing style in order to become a success at Stamford Bridge.
“The thing is I had to adapt to this game the Premier League. This wasn’t my game when I was in France. I was always at the limit of offside and running in behind,” said the striker.
“And when I came to Chelsea I became a target man, linking the game with Frank Lampard, with Arjen Robben, so I had to change my game to adapt to them because they not only could dribble but they could score goals.
“When I came at the beginning I thought I’d be the one, I’d be the king, I’d score the goals, but you realise you’ve got other people who can make the difference, so you’ve got to share.”