Didier Drogba: ‘Chelsea now lacks class … I don’t recognise the club’ | Champions League

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Didier Drogba: ‘Chelsea now lacks class … I don’t recognise the club’ | Champions League

Champions League

  • Club legend launches stinging attack after Chelsea defeat
  • Real Madrid march on in Champions League with 2-0 win

Didier Drogba has launched a stinging attack on Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, accusing Chelsea’s owners of lacking class and claiming that the club has become unrecognisable since being sold last year by Roman Abramovich.

Drogba, who scored Chelsea’s winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 2012, made his displeasure clear before Frank Lampard’s side were knocked out of the Champions League by a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

The legendary former striker was working on the game as a pundit for Canal+ and his comments on the changing face of the club are likely to have been in reference to more not being done to keep key figures from the previous regime at Stamford Bridge.

“I knew this club with a certain class during the Abramovich era, but today I find it lacking,” Drogba said. “It’s very hard for me to see how they got rid of certain people. They should go back to the principles and values they had. I no longer recognise my club.”

Chelsea went in a new direction following Abramovich’s departure, with Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia, Petr Cech and other influential personnel leaving the club last summer. Lampard, who has lost his first four games since being placed in temporary charge this month, refused to respond to Drogba’s remarks.

Chelsea saw the buildup to the second leg of their quarter-final against Madrid dominated by the focus on Boehly telling the players that the season has been “embarrassing” after last Saturday’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion. Boehly and his fellow co-owner, Behdad Eghbali, entered the dressing room again after two goals from Rodrygo gave Madrid 4-0 victory on aggregate.

Going out of the Champions League means that Chelsea, who are unlikely to qualify for Europe, have little but pride to play for this season. But Lampard, who thought Éder Militão was lucky not to be sent off, insisted they will bounce back. He urged his side to finish the campaign on a high.

“We can set the building blocks now of where we want to get to,” he said. “I’ve come into that. Can I affect it in that period? Hopefully. We want to get back to where we were. But everyone’s doing the same, everyone’s invested, everyone’s getting better. Maybe some clubs are more stable than we are in terms of the squad. I don’t think we can get ahead of ourselves.”

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