Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Costa hails Drogba

Published:Saturday | February 11, 2017 | 12:12 AM
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Chelsea striker Diego Costa says he was always amazed by club legend Didier Drogba and shares that the Ivorian has helped his development.

Costa has been a hit at Chelsea, scoring at a rate of a goal every other game with 51 strikes in 103 games for the Stamford Bridge club since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2014.

He and Drogba won the league together in Costa's first season at the club and the 28-year-old said he has been largely impacted by the well-loved Drogba.

"I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward," Costa said in an interview with the club's in-house TV channel. "He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player.

"Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed. This is because - and I'm not making this up at all - I specifically used to watch Chelsea [before he joined], who are obviously a big club, just to see Drogba.

"He was famous and everyone would talk about him. I even liked watching him when he played for the Ivory Coast. When I arrived here, he was never cold with me, quite the opposite. I wasn't exactly scared of him, but he was such a legend who had helped the club grow and been a part of all that."

Costa says Drogba was very supportive of him when he arrived at the club and believes he has much to thank him for.

"He made history here, so could have been dismissive of me but, no, he was always fantastic with me," Costa said. "I will always have fond memories of him and whenever I see him, I thank him. It's not always easy for someone with so much history to be in that position.

"I was playing well, scoring goals, and he would support and motivate me, whereas others might not have done the same. I take my hat off to him."

Drogba won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League trophy with Chelsea, while Costa is well placed to win his second league title with the club, which sits comfortably atop the Premier League table.