Drogba thinks Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni to be a good leader

Though Didier Drogba, who played a key role in English Premier League side Chelsea's Champions League triumph last month, knows little about cricket, the star footballer nevertheless followed last year's cricket World Cup and feels that Indian skipper 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 said in a press conference here during his first visit to the country.

According to Indian Express, 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, when 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.

Meanwhile The Hindu reports that Drogba, who took part in the event along with M S Dhoni, Baichung Bhutia and Harbhajan Singh, confessed he knew little about cricket and the least about Indian football. “It took me time to understand the game. It is played far too long.” He revealed his kids were enjoying cricket at school.

He was in the Capital to promote ‘T20’ football but the wait for Didier Drogba stretched well beyond regulation time for the media and into extra-time. Drogba landed in the country and dived straight into the media conference followed by an appearance at the grand finale of the Pepsi T20 Football event on Sunday.

Meanwhile The Times Of India reports that for a change, the cricket stars were also part of the fan brigade as they vied to get their pictures clicked with the Ivory Coast striker. The kind of over-enthusiasm that these cricketing idols displayed on Sunday was a rare spectacle. To see the likes of Kohli and Raina behave like ardent fans was a rare sight, although a welcome one.

The cricketers looked ill at ease inside the make-shift cage constructed for the modified brand of football on show. When asked about the best footballer in the team, Team India’s man in form, Kohli said, “We play a lot of football in the training sessions and Dhoni is definitely the best amongst us. The worst in the lot will probably be Murali Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja.”

Dhoni though had a different take, saying, “The three best footballers in today’s team will be Vijay, Harbhajan and Raina.”

The skills of Vijay, Bhajji and Raina were exposed during the brief warm-up session as none of them could manage a single shot on goal from just three feet away! Indian soccer icon Baichung Bhutia, who was manning the net for the session, only had to parry away one shot and that was from Dhoni.