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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 18:00 GMT
Drogba signs new Chelsea contract
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba
Drogba scored a last-gasp equaliser against Barcelona in midweek
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has signed a new four-year deal running until 2010.

The 28-year-old joined the club for 24m in July 2004 and has been in fine form this season with 10 goals in 15 games to his credit.

The Ivory Coast international told Chelsea's television station: "I am not playing well just because I wanted to sign a new contract.

"I'm playing well as I feel good and I am happy to train with my friends."

There were doubts cast over Drogba's first-team chances at Chelsea when manager Jose Mourinho landed striker Andriy Shevchenko in the summer.

But Drogba has risen to the challenge while Shevchenko has struggled for form.

I want to say thank you to Jose for believing in me

Didier Drogba

Drogba scored a last-gasp equaliser against Barcelona in a Champions League match on Tuesday as well as netting the winner when the two clubs met in the reverse group game.

His collection of goals so far during the campaign also saw him grab an exquisite winner when Liverpool visited Stamford Bridge.

Drogba added: "I want to say thank you to Jose for believing in me since the beginning and now we will be together for a long time. The best period of my career I think.

"I am happy because when I came here it wasn't easy for me to say I would be signing a new contract with Chelsea, because everybody knows the first year was difficult.

"The second one was okay but I knew I could do better."

606: DEBATE
CL

Drogba has been linked with possible moves to either Italian side AC Milan and Lyon of France but Mourinho believes the signing of a new deal will put any speculation to bed.

"It is good for Chelsea, Didier deserves a big contract.

"Now he can go to Milan for shopping and no-one can say he goes to sign a contract.

"His friend from Lyon can call and people don't say he is calling to sign him. It's fantastic."



SEE ALSO
Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea
31 Oct 06 |  Europe
Drogba gets Lampard backing
20 Oct 06 |  African
Drogba relief at Chelsea winner
19 Oct 06 |  African


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