Jose Mourinho praises departing Drogba
25 May 2015, 13:54
London - Jose Mourinho believes Didier Drogba's influence will continue to be felt at Chelsea even though the Ivory Coast forward has called time on his second spell with the Premier League champions.
Drogba announced his intention to leave Stamford Bridge before the 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Sunday that ensured Mourinho's side ended their title-winning campaign in fitting style before being presented with the trophy after the final whistle.
The 37-year-old is keen to play on for one more year, but will have to look elsewhere for more regular first team action.
Drogba was named captain but played only 28 minutes before being chaired from the pitch by his team-mates as he was replaced by Diego Costa.
And Blues boss Mourinho insists the veteran's legacy will continue to be felt because of his impact on the development of the club's younger players.
"The substitution was decided because he had a problem with his knee and, in normal conditions, he could not play for long. We left him on for half an hour," Mourinho said.
"The captaincy was John Terry's desire, to give him the armband. The players to bring him off the pitch? I think that was decided between them because they like him a lot.
"I'm really happy because he was part of the other team, but he belongs also to this new Chelsea.
"For these players to know him, train with him, live with him, play with him, share with him is fantastic.
"He was very, very good for these young people: Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar. They learnt from a good example. His was a fantastic contribution this season."
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