Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba has explained Didier Drogba and Mauricio Pochettino’s roles in his development.
The Ivorian who started his career at Paris Saint-Germain academy at the age of 11 learned the art of defending from the Tottenham Hotspur manager who was then a senior centre-back at the French club.
The 34-year-old has become one of the best defenders in the Premier League, helping the Bluebirds to keep six clean sheets in 21 league appearances and capping it with two goals this season.
And he has recalled how the 46-year-old taught him to play dirty in a clever manner which he has continued to put in use since his time with the Parisians.
“Mauricio was the captain and a leader and you could tell he was clever,” he said “Very nice publicly, but nasty as a defender,” Bamba told Express.
“He kept telling me I was too nice. ‘You have to be dirty, but in a clever way,’ he’d say. He was the one who taught me how to get a full handful of a striker’s shirt without the referee seeing.”
Also, Bamba explained how Playing along with former Chelsea and Cote d'Ivoire captain Drogba in the national team improved him as a footballer.
“Didier Drogba was our captain and he was the best striker I ever came up against,” he cotinued.
“What a player, strong with both feet, good in the air and on his day I quickly learned you cannot mark him. It was good experience trying, though!”
On his relationship with Cardiff boss Neil Warnock, he said: “The gaffer is everything to me.
“We have a great relationship and we sit and talk about everything.
“He just said to me, ‘I know you want to show how good you are and you have got that in your locker, but you have to be more simple’.”