Moved to Premier League club Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. In his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. In March 2012, he became the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals, and also became the only player in history to score in four separate FA Cup finals the same year, when he scored in Chelsea’s win over Liverpool in the 2012 final. He also played in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in which he scored an 88th-minute equaliser and the winning penalty in the deciding shoot-out against Bayern Munich.
Robbie Di Matteo did what he always did and put up a list of the opposing team’s top scorers. Usually, the list would read something along the lines of Rooney - 22 goals; Van Persie - 15 and so on.
When the Barcelona list went up, sure enough, in third place was Xavi on 14, in equal second place were Alexis Sánchez and Cesc Fàbregas on 15, but we all just laughed when the top scorer came up on the screen - Lionel Messi on … 63 goals, 14 in the Champions League alone!
But 63 that season? It was such a ridiculous figure that we looked at each other in disbelief and laughed - what else could we do? I even took a picture of the number because it was so outrageous.