Didier Drogba has singled out former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard out as one of the biggest influences on his career.Drogba played with Lampard for eight years at Stamford Bridge, which culminated in Champions League triumph in 2012.The two set each other up on 36 occasions in the Premier League, still the highest combined figure for goals and assists between two players in the English top flight. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Speaking at a Yokohama fan event in Tokyo, the Ivorian was full of praise for his former teammate.”There’s one [player] that I’m going to put a bit more in front because most of my goals came from him, it’s Frank Lampard,” Drogba said.”And also because every day after training we were staying on the pitch trying to practice, trying to create some exercises because the ones we did a few days ago were becoming too easy.”So, we were trying to bring in new exercises and that’s how we progressed and challenged each other to score goals, to create assists and for me I learned a lot from him.”Drogba went on to back Chelsea in the wake of the club’s lopsided defeat to Tottenham, saying that he certainly expects Maurizio Sarri’s men to bounce back from the club’s first league loss.Playing for Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship, the 40-year-old announced his retirement from football last week.The former Chelsea star also revealed that he’s open to a career in management having learned from Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho during his illustrious career. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
When Roger Federer landed heavily on his knee on his beloved Wimbledon turf 12 months ago, few would have put money on the popular Swiss walking back through the All England Club gates as the favourite to win a 19th grand slam title.Yet that is the reality facing 84th-ranked Alexandr Dolgopolov when the Ukrainian faces one of Wimbledon’s all-time favourite sons in Tuesday’s first round match on Centre Court.Things could not have been more different last July.That painful tumble in Federer’s semi-final defeat by Milos Raonic sparked a chain of events that many feared would end the Swiss great’s storied career.Just days later, he put a full stop to his 2016 season, saying he needed time to receive “more extensive rehabilitation” on his stricken knee which had required surgery months earlier.But the man who is a month shy of his 36th birthday has been rejuvenated by the enforced six-month break.After capturing a record 18th grand slam trophy at the Australian Open in January, he is once again proving to be a formidable force — winning back-to-back titles at Indian Wells and Miami for the first time since 2006.While he shunned the entire claycourt season to give himself “the best chance for Wimbledon”, a ninth title at the Halle grasscourt tournament has put him in the zone for Wimbledon.”I don’t want to be at the mercy of my opponent. I want to take charge, play aggressive myself,” Federer, seeking his first title here since 2012, told reporters.advertisement”So for that I need to be fast on my feet and quick in my mind. I just need enough rest so I can play enough inspired tennis.”Considering Dolgopolov has not taken a set off Federer in three meetings, the chances are he will be cannon fodder for the Swiss as Federer begins the pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title and a record 85th match win at the grasscourt major.