Before William Gallas left Chelsea for Arsenal in 2006, he enjoyed some high points at the Blues, but nothing could prepare him for facing former team-mate Didier Drogba in opposition.
Although he’d been up against the striker in training many times, doing so in a competitive game was evidently a completely different kettle of fish.
“I was used to seeing him in training, but you know how it goes: you’re never going at 100 per cent on the training pitch,” Gallas told The Athletic and cited by The Sun.
“So I never really understood why [Philippe] Senderos would just go missing in every match he played against Didier. But when I played against him myself in the Premier League with Arsenal, then I understood.
“He had something about him, a power I’d never sensed as a team-mate, an aura I had never seen before. Facing that, you just s*** yourself. He was so intimidating that it rattles you.”
Drogba will surely always be loved by the Stamford Bridge faithful, and he provided many great moments during his time at the club.
One of the most iconic has to be his late header in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, followed by a coolly taken penalty which won them the trophy, their only one to date.
A real old-school centre-forward, Drogba was a handful at the best of times. He could score from distance, tap-ins or by dispatching towering headers, and his sheer presence often made him a nightmare for defenders.
That’s something that Gallas can obviously identify with.