CHELSEA STAR IN POKER RUCKUS - Sunday 12th of June 2005

A CHELSEA star trashed a hotel room after gambling away thousands in a card school, striker Didier Drogba revealed yesterday.

The room at the club's Merseyside hotel the night before their devastating Champions League exit at Liverpool was damaged by the irate losing player - who has still not told his wife how much he lost in the poker school.

Things went from bad to worse as Luis Garcia's controversial winner 24 hours later left the Chelsea players in tears. The revelation about the pain of defeat and the high-stakes card school came in interviews with Drogba and Cameroon midfielder Geremi in France.

Drogba explained that he was in charge of the poker school, with his most regular partners being Geremi, William Gallas and Claude Makelele, although skipper John Terry (above) and fellow England ace Frank Lampard also played.

The £24million Ivory Coast striker said that he set up the poker school as a way of "relaxing" the "too polite" atmosphere around Jose Mourinho's squad on their travels.

 

Drogba said "staggering" amounts of cash were wagered. "Everybody in the team can remember the yells of the big gamblers coming from the back of the team bus or from a hotel room. One angry loser made the furniture suffer in our Liverpool hotel room the night before our Champions League game at Anfield.

 

"He has had to remain anonymous to avoid his wife's rage at the sum of money he lost."

 

But Geremi added: "It is not only about money. Many of us wept in the dressing room after that defeat at Liverpool."

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