Wealthy Drogba splashes the cash and reminds his old Chelsea team-mates of the time when they were European heroes (in the week they went out of the competition)
13:37 GMT, 7 December 2012
Didier Drogba has paid around 800,000 for a set of exclusive rings to commemorate Chelsea's Champions League victory – in the same week they were bundled out of this season's competition.
The cost is around three weeks' money for the Ivory Coast striker, who earns 250,000-a-week in China playing for Shanghai Shenhua, where he moved in the summer.
Chelsea's Champions League matchwinning hero hosted a dinner in honour of the night last May when he secured the title. Fernando Torres, who replaced Drogba as the leader of Chelsea's front line, was conspicuous by his absence.
Drogba organised the reunion at the Wyndham Hotel in Chelsea Harbour in recognition of last May’s amazing achievements, when they defeated Bayern Munich in their own stadium to lift the trophy.
Thanks Didier: Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz with their rings
Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel
Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball and were believed to cost around 800k in total
Incredible: Ashley Cole's ring showing the detail of his face, name and shirt number
He presented his old colleagues and
backroom staff with special commemorative rings to mark their
The Ivorian set up the special dinner to raise
spirits after they became the first Champions League winners to be
knocked out in the group stages the following season.
Spanish striker Torres, who is attempting to fill Drogba's boots at the club, was not in attendance.
However his son Leo turned two today and so he may have had an excuse for not showing up. Juan Mata and Petr Cech were also unable to make it to the event.
Drogba quit Chelsea at the end of last season to sign for Shanghai Shenhua but is back in London to train at Cobham before the African Cup of Nations early next year.
The Blues legend struck
the decisive penalty against Munich in the Allianz Arena in May – the kick his last in a Chelsea shirt – to send the fans into raptures and delight owner Roman Abramovich.
Earlier in the game he had hauled Chelsea level with a powerful header, just before the end, to send the match into extra time.
His fine performances helped them progress through the competition, and Drogba had a huge impact in particular during the home games against Valencia, Napoli and Barcelona.
This time around there was nobody who could drag the Blues out of the mire – they were eliminated on Wednesday night despite thumping Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1.
Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic
Inseparable: Drogba and Terry were close during their time at the club together and caught up again
Torres has been inconsistent at best in a Chelsea shirt and the club need to add a striker to their books in January.
had hoped to secure a deal for Drogba on a short-term loan, but FIFA
blocked the move as it was outside the transfer window.
Joking around: Drogba with David Luiz, while (right) Terry say a few words
All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy
Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge
Lord of the rings: The American stars and their commemorative 'bling'
Handy: Dan Koppen (left), Larry Izzo (centre) and Lonie Paxton of the New England Patriots show off their rings, and (below) a Dallas Mavericks NBA championship ring
Bling: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat shows off his 2012 NBA Championship ring
Cost: A New York Jets Super Bowl ring from 1969, and (below) a member of the New Orleans Saints shows off his ring from the 2010 Super Bowl