Chelsea’s Drogba: Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher is ‘most difficult’ I ever faced

Didier Drogba believes Jamie Carragher was the hardest defender he ever played against.

Drogba and Carragher were at their peaks in the Premier League during the same time span, with the Chelsea forward excelling between 2004 and 2010.

For the Liverpool man, who always favoured reading the game over his evident lack of pace, a late progression into one of England’s best central defenders coincided with a bad period for the team he was vice captain for. Despite never winning the Premier League, Carragher is still considered one of the best defenders to ever grace the top flight, and he is now offering his wealth of advice to Sky Sports, with whom he acts as a top quality analyst.

With frequent explorations into Europe, Drogba faced many of the world’s top central defenders during his first spell with the Blues, but he still considers Carragher to be the best he faced, claiming his aggression made him a hard opponent - but one who was always fair.

Speaking to the official Chelsea website, the 36-year-old said: “I would say Jamie Carragher was the most difficult one in terms of aggression, but he was always fair.”

Drogba also had words of praise for fellow retiree Carlos Puyol, whom he faced many times in a number of famous ties with Barcelona in the Champions League.

“Then there was Carles Puyol,” the Ivorian added. “He was a strong defender, tough, but always respectful, and a gentleman really.”

The praise of Carragher comes soon after the former Liverpool man praised his Blues’ rival, picking him as a striker in his all-time foreign Premier League XI. He called the forward the 'best big game player I can remember’, and commented on his ability to score in Finals; Drogba netted three FA Cup Final winning goals, two League Cup Final goals, and the equalising goal and winning penalty in Chelsea’s famous Champions League victory in Munich.

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