Many top footballers never reach a major cup final during their career. Not so Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is set play in his third of the year on Saturday when he lines up for the Blues against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final.
The Côte d’Ivoire icon missed out on long-awaited national team glory in the final of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in February against Zambia, but he received some consolation as Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final earlier this month. Always a central part of the club’s success, Drogba became the first player to score a goal in four different FA Cup finals.
Saturday's match will be his third European final, having lost in the UEFA Cup with Olympique Marseille against Valencia in 2004, and also the Champions League final four years later in Russia when Manchester United won the all-England encounter on penalties.
That match in Moscow is a game Drogba is eager to forget - not only did his side lose, but he was famously sent off in the second half of extra time. The striker is now hoping to put that behind him as he looks forward to Saturday's big game at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
FIFA.com: This is another huge game for you, is it the biggest game of your life?
Didier Drogba: It is certainly one of the biggest games. I think I have played a lot of important games with Chelsea, but this one ranks highly. This is going to be special because it’s only the second time we reached the final of the Champions League. We want to do everything to go there and be ready to play against the German team.
The big stage is the one you have always vied for. Are finals what you are made for?
I don't know if I am made for finals, but I certainly enjoy them. I think we are going to prepare the best we can, and I am going to do my best. I think everybody has to do his own work for the club and for the team and then trust that everything is going to work out well.
After losing the final in Moscow did you worry that that would be your only opportunity?
No, no just the opposite. After losing in Moscow, we thought that we were going to get into the final the next year. But then that is not so easy. It is very difficult to reach a final in a long competition, and I think that doing so this year shows how much we deserve to be there. It has been four years since we last played in a Champions League final.
Does it make you realise that these chances do not come around often?
What is your lasting memory of the defeat in Moscow four years ago?
You know, I do not like to speak about the past. I think it is not good. We have a great moment here, and I can speak about Bayern Munich and the Champions League final on Saturday, but I prefer not to worry about what happened four years ago.
Bayern Munich lost the German cup final 5-2 against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. Did you watch that game or analyse the match?
No I did not. I leave that kind of stuff to the coaches.
You will face former Chelsea player Arjen Robben in the final. Are you looking forward to seeing him again?
He is a very good player, and we won many trophies together. It will be great to see him again.
Having won one final already this year with Chelsea, will that give you an advantage in the Champions League?
No, it is a totally different competition.
About your record in finals, you have lost several for club and country, would winning in Munich ease the pain of those disappointments?
I have had a lot of disappointments, but I have also had some great moments in other finals. Now I and my team-mates will try to make sure that this is one of the great ones. Finals are there to be won, and I am hoping we will do that.