Star footballer Drogba feels Dhoni is a good leader

Last Updated 17 June 2012, 13:38 IST

Star footballer Didier Drogba, who played a key role in English Premier League side Chelsea's Champions League triumph last month, today said he followed last year's cricket World Cup in India and feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a good leader.

"I know your (cricket) captain though I cannot pronounce his name. I followed the last (cricket) World Cup. The Indian team was the world champions. I think he (Dhoni) is a very good leader," Drogba told a packed press conference here during his first visit to the country.

The Ivory Coast striker, who scored the equalising goal and also the winner -- a penalty kick -- for Chelsea against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Munich, was here to grace the Pepsi T20 Football Grand Finale at Thyagaraj Stadium. He is also the brand ambassador of Pepsi.

Prodded further about his knowledge of Indian cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, Drogba said, "I know they are the world champions and if many people in England are talking about them they must be good."

"I respect all sports. They (Indian cricketers) have been picked to represent your country from among millions of people. Just like few footballers like me are professionals," he replied when being told about football being a global sport while cricket is being played by around a dozen country.

Drogba said it was difficult for him to follow cricket initially but later he was able to understand the basics of the game after being taught by some players. "It took time to understand cricket. In the beginning it was difficult for me to understand. But some players explained the game to me and I thought it's very exciting," he said.

The star striker, who is known for his physical strength and ability to score goals from nowhere, however, said that he did not have much knowledge about Indian football. "I don't know much about Indian football and footballers. But I saw them play some months ago. I am thrilled to know that football has big fan following here."

(Published 17 June 2012, 13:38 IST)

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