Of his 164 goals for Chelsea, it’s safe to say Didier Drogba fired home a worldie or two.
The man for the big occasion, there’s an enormous catalogue of important goals of his to choose from, but there’s also more than a few screamers which often fly under the radar.
Here are Drogba’s ten best goals for Chelsea.
10. Bolton (24/01/11)
The Ivorian picked the ball up in an ocean of space and dawdled on forward, and when nobody decided to close him down, Drogba opted to release the kraken.
His 30-yard thunderbolt went right down the centre of Jaaskelainen’s goal, but swerved left, right and everywhere in between before it landed over the goalkeeper’s head. Every rule of physics said it was impossible.
9. Arsenal (07/08/05)
As it was a cup final, Drogba obviously came in clutch as he led Chelsea to Community Shield glory at Arsenal’s expense in 2005.
To open the scoring, he shrugged off Philippe Senderos to pick up a cross from Asier del Horno, chested the ball down and pulled out a dainty chip which had Jens Lehmann grasping at thin air.
Drogba bagged the all-important second goal after the break, beating Lehmann to the ball and then getting a toe in ahead of Lauren to set himself, before curling an effort right into the postage stamp.
8. Bayern Munich (19/05/12)
Bayern Munich were minutes away from winning the Champions League in their own stadium until Didier Drogba spoiled the party.
Chelsea's man for the big occasion!
Chelsea's European Classics | BT Sport 1 HD | Sunday 7pm pic.twitter.com/7UKL54YmoB
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2020
You knew this one was coming somewhere.
It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing goal, but Drogba’s header in the 2012 Champions League final gets bonus points for the sheer importance of the situation. Without this header, the Blues would still be without a trophy.
To give him credit for the actual strike, beating two Bayern players to the ball and managing to get a header on target from that angle is impressive enough, but to get enough power to get it past Manuel Neuer? Jeeez.
7. Man Utd (19/05/07)
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 19, 2020
Another final, another goal.
The beauty of this goal comes from the build-up. Drogba drags Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic around as he looks for the ball, and he drops deep to kick-start another move.
A delicious first-time one-two with Frank Lampard gifts him space behind the defenders, in which Drogba pulls off a delicate lob over Edwin van der Sar to add another trophy to his collection.
6. Portsmouth (03/03/07)
Drogba was the kind of striker who could change a game in the blink of an eye, and he did exactly that against Portsmouth in March 2007.
A deep cross from Ashley Cole forced Drogba further towards the byline than he would have liked, but that wasn’t a problem for the striker, who sat back and waited for the ball to drop.
Showcasing the kind of technique most can only dream of, Drogba allowed the ball to drop and unleashed a perfect first-time volley which roared into the back of net and set Chelsea up for a 2-0 win.
5. Tottenham (24/02/08)
A rare final in which Drogba didn’t come out on top, the 2008 League Cup final still gave him the stage to fire home a classic.
Having come close earlier with a free-kick, Drogba made no mistake about his second dead-ball effort. From all of 25-yards, he curled the ball right around the Spurs wall and into the bottom corner before Paul Robinson even had the chance to move. Precision.
Pause the highlights after the 43rd minute. We don’t like to talk about the rest of this game.
4. Everton (17/12/06)
Simply unstoppable 🚀
Remember this one, @ChelseaFC fans?
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 15, 2017
To this day, I can’t figure out whether this was supposed to be a lob or a top-corner effort gone wrong. Either way, it was unreal.
In their 2006 meeting with Everton, Chelsea were comfortably second best, and when the clock ticked over to the 81st minute, they were 2-1 down. A Lampard strike tied things up, but it looked like these two would share the points.
With three minutes remaining, Drogba collected a bouncing ball on his chest, turned towards goal and set a rocket off in his boot which flew over the helpless Tim Howard, who could only watch on as the ball crashed into the back of the net.
3. Tottenham (15/04/12)
This was Drogba at his absolute best.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) April 15, 2018
One-on-one with William Gallas, who looked like he was in a battle with a freight train at times, Drogba mauled the Frenchman with the most powerful yet technical turn you’ve ever seen, but that was only half the fun.
On the half-volley, he sent the most terrifyingly forceful strike thundering past Carlo Cudicini, planting his flag in the Wembley turf for all to see.
2. Barcelona (18/10/06)
When you can make Carles Puyol look average, you know you’ve done something special.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 18, 2020
All Drogba needed was one flick to carve a hole in the heart of perhaps the greatest team on the planet at the time, Barcelona.
Leaving Puyol seeing stars, Drogba turned and sent a delicious effort flying into the top corner past Victor Valdes, and he collapsed by the corner flag in shock of what he had just done.
1. Liverpool (17/09/06)
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 2, 2020
This does not make sense. This one does not make a single ounce of sense.
Drogba used his body to remind Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher that he was messing with the wrong guy before going to the well for another of those chest-turns that he made famous, but that wasn’t even the good part of this goal.
He wasn’t even facing the goal when he started winding up a shot, but he somehow still managed to connect with a half-volley that would look more at home in an old school Call of Duty trickshot montage than on a football field.
Pepe Reina had no chance.