Mid-Day Ticker: Drogba wants to stay at Chelsea, Pele to join WC meeting & more

Mid-Day Ticker: Drogba wants to stay at Chelsea, Pele to join WC meeting & more

International Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Drogba wants to stay at Chelsea, Pele to join WC meeting & more

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 Photo by Marc Atkins/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

It's a bit premature to say Didier Drogba's days at Stamford Bridge are numbered. At least the striker thinks so.

Drogba said Wednesday that he would like to stay with Chelsea for "as long as possible." He made the remark to French TV station Canal+ after opening the scoring in the Blues' dramatic 4-1 extra time win over Napoli that put Chelsea into the Champions League quarterfinals via a 5-4 aggregate.

"I am happy here, to experience moments like these. I hope there will be many others," Drogba said. "It has been a long time since I have seen a Chelsea like this."

Drogba has been widely linked to a move to China once his Chelsea contract expires at season's end.

Here are some more items to keep your Thursday rolling:

PELE TO JOIN BLATTER MEETING WITH BRAZIL PRESIDENT

Amid rising tensions between the Brazilian government and FIFA over preparations for the 2014 World Cup, national team legend Pele will join FIFA President Sepp Blatter in a meeting with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff.

Blatter is hoping to play damage control after Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary-general, recently riled Brazilians by saying they need a "kick up the backside" to speed up preparations.

"I am very pleased that the legendary Pele will join us for this important meeting," Blatter said in a statement. "We will discuss the status of preparations and what needs to be done over the next few months to achieve the common goal of FIFA and the Brazilian government to stage a great FIFA Confederations Cup in June 2013 and a successful 2014 FIFA World Cup."

CLEVERLEY HOPES TO PLAY WITH BECKHAM AT OLYMPICS

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley would relish the opportunity to join David Beckham on the Great Britain side at the Olympics in London this summer, saying that he "always looked up to Beckham" when he was young and that "to play alongside him would be great."

Cleverley, 22, is a long-shot to make England's Euro 2012 squad, making him a prime candidate to play for Great Britain in the Olympics. Beckham, meanwhile, has expressed interest in being an overage selection for Great Britain's Under-23 Olympic side.

MOURINHO WELCOMES MADRID-CHELSEA FINAL

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw is set for Friday, and Jose Mourinho is already looking a few rounds ahead.

The animated Real Madrid manager said he would welcome a final clash with his former club, Chelsea, who got through to the quarterfinals in thrilling fashion on Wednesday.

"People can't understand how much I love Chelsea, and I know if I get them in the quarter-finals or the semi-finals, they would be great opponents," Mourinho told reporters. "I'm happy Chelsea have got through, but I'd love to play them in the final."

Mourinho has had his name floated out as a candidate to return to Stamford Bridge as Andre Villas-Boas long-term replacement. Roberto di Matteo has guided the team in the interim after Villas-Boas' dismissal.

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Do you think Chelsea should look to re-open negotiations with Drogba for a contract extension? Will Pele's presence sooth over differences between the Brazilian government and FIFA? How effective would a Cleverley-Beckham central midfield duo be for Great Britain at the Olympics? Do you think Real Madrid will reach the UCL final?

Share your thoughts below.

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