Thomas Partey says Michael Essien was one of his idols while growing up

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has said that he was fond of watching the Premier League during his younger days and Michael Essien was one of the players he had followed closely. The Ghana international has been slowly building a reputation for himself at Atletico but this has recently spread the speculation with Manchester City linked with his services.

Speaking to Edmundo, the Ghanaian skipper said that he liked watching Premier League matches during his formative years and Essien, Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure were among the main figures of attraction during that time, he said: “As a child, I watched many Premier matches. I saw a lot of Gerrard, then Yaya Touré or Essien. Any African footballer in my position wants to be like them.”
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Olivier Giroud speaks after bagging maiden Chelsea hat-trick against Dynamo Kiev

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has acknowledged that he is delighted with his performance against Dynamo Kiev on Thursday night. The Blues were already holding a 3-0 advantage over Kiev after the first leg of the round of 16, but they came up with a better away performance as they secured a comfortable 5-0 triumph.

In that showing, Giroud bagged the man of the match accolade with his maiden club hat-trick and he was pleased over the same. Speaking to BT Sport, Giroud revealed the delight at achieving a maiden hat-trick with the Blues while also contributing towards Callum Hudson-Odoi’s goal on the night, he said: “I’m very pleased with all of the goals I scored and the assist I give to Callum, we gave a great team performance today. Tonight we’ve done well at set-pieces, and it’s nice because when you can score goals from set-pieces you understand that you can get more points at the end of the championship, and obviously when you play Europa League.”
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DIDDIER DROGBA AND OTHERS BACKS THE RELEASE OF IMPRISONED FOOTBALLER

Chelsea legend Diddier Drogba alongside LeicesterforwardJamie Vardy and Gary Linekarhave lifted the spirit of  imprisoned Bahraini footballer, Hakeem al-araibi through the use of social media.

The  physical well being of al-Araibi, who is presently on detention in Thailand and who has also been supported by Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah, and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, is on a downward trend as he faces another two months of imprisonment and the prospect of a return to Bahrain, where he may be tortured.
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Didier Drogba pays tribute to retiring Petr Cech

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has paid tribute to goalkeeper Petr Cech after the veteran announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. The 36-year-old will be concluding his professional career with Arsenal but it was with the Blues where he made a strong impression by guiding them to numerous trophies including the prestigious Champions League crown in 2012.

Speaking at an event arranged by the Football Writer’s Association, Drogba praised the efforts of Cech during his time in west London and highlighted that the Blues may not have won the Champions League, had it not been for the veteran’s saves against Bayern Munich in the penalty shootout.
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Drogba impressed by Liverpool

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba said that he has been impressed by Liverpool this season. He said that many pundits have given Manchester City as the favorite to win the Premier League but Liverpool have refused so far to accept that.

He said that they have been on a good run themselves and that they have remained undefeated since the start of the season. He said that the team is currently on a good form and that it will be difficult for another team to beat them, especially with their confidence now so high.
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Didier Drogba believes Gerard Pique is the toughest defender he had ever faced

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has suggested that Barcelona’s Gerard Pique is probably the toughest defender he has faced during his playing career. The Ivorian recently hung up his boots after 20 years in the beautiful game where he won numerous accolades including the prestigious Champions League trophy with Chelsea in 2012.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Drogba was asked about the toughest ever defender faced during his career where he pointed out Pique’s name, he said:”I think[toughest opponent was] Pique because our battles were really, really tough. But at the same time, like with all of them, you know like big guys, top players, top men, class. It’s very difficult for me to say one that I played against because most of the time I was playing against two defenders, so one of the best pair I played against was Vidic and Ferdinand. And the other one was [Carles] Puyol and Pique.”
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