Drogba under scrutiny
Blues striker, Didier Drogba
Many have sung the praises of the Ivoirian international for his engagement, his fighting spirit and his efficiency inside the box, but he has also been largely criticised for his tendency to dive when he loses the ball.
The Elephants’ captain was untouchable last week at Stamford Bridge and clinched the match against the Catalans, but also spent plenty of time with his nose in the grass, breaking the rhythm of the hugely dominating Blaugranas throughout the encounter.
His behaviour did not go unnoticed and has provoked some caustic reactions, even from England.
“Drogba, you're a good player but please get up,” Wayne Rooney could not resist Tweeting.
“Congratulations to Drogba, not for his goal but for staying on his feet for the entirety of his post-match interview,” quipped former British football star, Gary Lineker ironically.
José Mourinho, the Ivoirian’s former mentor at Chelsea, had already made a cutting remark in his ex-protégé’s direction a few weeks ago.
“I am no longer Chelsea manager and I don't have to defend them, so I think it's correct if I say Drogba is a diver,” he revealed to the English press.
From the Barcelona ranks, response has been much more measured, with some of Pep Guardiola’s men even leaping to the Blues’ striker’s defence.
“I believe in Drogba that every time he fell down it was because he was in pain or felt a kick on him. I don't think that, when Drogba fell down, he was trying to act or dive,” stated Barça’s central defender, Gérard Piqué in a press conference.
Chelsea’s dangerman was absent against Arsenal last weekend due to a knee injury, but should take his place again heading the Blues’ attack on Tuesday night at the Camp Nou.