The 35-year-old netted a late equalizer and the penalty shootout-winning goal against Bayern Munich in last year's final, as the West London club defied the odds to lift the trophy for the first time in its history. And, ahead of participating in the quarterfinals with current club, Galatasaray, Drogba said that the events of May 19, 2012, outstrip anything else he has experienced.
"I didn't expect to be back in the Champions League," Drogba told Uefa Magazine. "But I have a special relationship with the competition, I have played in the tournament back-to-back for nine seasons with Marseille and Chelsea.
"Last season I finally lifted the Champions League trophy, my last season with Chelsea was the peak of my career."
The Cote d'Ivoire international initially joined Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua after leaving Stamford Bridge, but he quickly returned to Europe with Gala following a dispute over wages. He has underlined his happiness at the Turkish club, which will face Real Madrid in the next Champions League round.
"Life is great here. It's a cosmopolitan city, it's a lovely place and culturally it's a very nice place for my family to be," Drogba said. "I'm here to play football at the highest level again, the club are well established in Europe, they have won the UEFA Cup in the past and are trying to take it to the next level."
Netherlands star Wesley Sneijder arrived at Galatasaray just days before Drogba, but the Ivorian insists the pair are still some way from their best.
"Our transfers got an amazing reception," Drogba said. "We are trying to live up to what is expected from us.
"Wesley hadn't played football for six months and had to build up his match fitness. I hadn't played for a few months either, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I'm 100 percent; however, I'm best to give everything for the team."
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