Benfica ready to make Drogba pay for happy jig during Champions League draw
21:57 GMT, 26 March 2012
Didier Drogba has been warned to
expect a Benfica backlash after performing what appeared to be a
celebration jig at the prospect of a Champions League clash with the
The footage, filmed by Chelsea TV and aired on the club’s in-house channel, has caused a stir in Portugal because Drogba stands up and shakes his body as he watches the Champions League quarter-final draw on television at the club’s training ground.
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In the firing line: Benfica were not happy with Didier Drobga's reaction
‘Who knows what he was thinking,’ said
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus ahead of tonight’s first leg in Lisbon.
‘Portuguese clubs have eliminated Manchester United and Manchester City,
the top two teams in the Premier League, so that should act as an
indication of the strengths of Portuguese football.
‘Any response to Didier Drogba we will give out on the field.’
The internet clip has gone viral in Portugal and has been the subject of debate on sports channels, but a Chelsea spokesman insisted Drogba’s dance of delight had been misinterpreted.
‘It’s not directed at Benfica,’ insisted defender David Luiz. ‘He was talking about avoiding Barcelona, who are such a big team, and Marseille as well. Chelsea know Benfica are a strong team.’
Top target: Nico Gaitan will be allowed to leave Benfica in the summer
Frank Lampard, meanwhile, admitted
yesterday Chelsea have to accept they are not as good as they once were.
‘The fixtures and where we are in the table doesn’t lie,’ said Lampard,
after Saturday’s draw against Tottenham left them in fifth.
‘We used to have a fortress (at Stamford Bridge) and, for whatever reason, we’re just not doing it. We have to play more with the urgency we showed against Napoli.’
Nicolas Gaitan will press his claims for a move to the Barclays Premier League in this tie after Benfica reluctantly decided to cash in on their prize asset. Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham are all vying for the 24-year-old Argentina winger, although negotiations are sure to be well short of his buy-out clause of 33.4million.