London: Didier Drogba praised an Oscar performance after the returning Chelsea great was handed the iconic number 11 shirt he made famous during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba displaces the Brazil international who has taken the number eight shirt vacated by departed Chelsea great Frank Lampard after the club released their squad numbers for this season on Friday.
"I am very pleased to be able to return to the number 11 shirt and I am very grateful to Oscar for allowing me to make this change," Drogba, who last donned the number when he scored the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 2012, told the club website (www.chelseafc.com).
The influential Ivorian forward wore the 15 shirt during pre-season, the number he originally had when he first signed for Chelsea from Olympique de Marseille in 2004.
"Didier is a Chelsea legend and a senior player. I am happy for him to take the 11 and for me to take the eight," Oscar said. "Lamps is another legend at this club and I hope I will be as successful in the shirt as he was."
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, returning to Chelsea after a loan spell at Atletico Madrid, has been given the 13 shirt while new signings Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis will wear numbers four, 19 and three respectively.