Steve Sidwell has massive cojones for telling this story about former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba.
The Ivorian striker was one of the most feared powerhouses to ever grace the Premier League – but it appears to have a large soft side.
This became known to his team-mates in 2007 when the Blues axed then-manager Jose Mourinho after he had won two league titles and as many domestic cups inside three years.
When the squad discovered Mourinho’s fate, there was one player who took it way tougher than the rest of the camp – Drogba.
“I was at Chelsea when Jose left,” Sidwell said on the Liquid Football podcast brought to you by Paddy Power. “He had obviously been there three years and they won the league twice. They had just missed out on the league the last season.
“We started pre-season and then he left in September. A lot of players had been with him a long time and it was a real family culture. We played Rosenborg in the Champions League and we drew or lost at home and we got called in the next day and we was all in. We knew something wasn’t right and Jose got sacked that day.
“It was pencilled in that we was going to be off and then obviously the result didn’t work out and we was in. Nobody knew what was going on and we was all downstairs in the dressing room. At the time the meeting was going on upstairs and it filtered down that Jose was going to go.
“We all had to stay down in the dressing room and he came down, I had only been there a couple of months but he was going around one-by-one saying his goodbyes.
“There was people crying. Drogba was in absolute pieces, tears.”
You would expect this to be the standard procedure at most football clubs once the boss has been sent packing. But the football business is much more cut-throat than that.
Sidwell added: “Looking round I think everyone was taken back by it. There has been somewhere when one [manager] goes there are half happy and half not, but on that one occasion [Jose] went round to every individual and everyone was broken by it.
“That was one of the hardest ones but most of the time you just find out at home or on TV. The whispers go round before but… it is done short and sharp.
“The Jose one was goodbye but usually you leave the training ground or the game and the next time you go in that manager’s gone. Nine times out of 10 you phone them after and say ‘Thanks for the last few years. It’s a shame’.
But nine times out of 10 they’re probably thinking ‘You b******s, you got me the sacked!'”