Having won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups with the Blues, the 35-year-old's place in club folklore was rubber-stamped as his eight-year association ended with his last kick being the penalty which won them their first ever Champions League in 2012.
Fast-forward 21 months and that same competition has brought the Ivorian toe to toe with his former club, and he played his part in frustrating the Blues on Wednesday night as his Gala side drew the first leg of their last-16 tie 1-1 in Turkey.
The second leg in three weeks promises to be a special occasion, with Jose Mourinho expecting Drogba will get the "best reception of his life" - a special moment for the striker, but he will be hoping to break Chelsea hearts.
"I am not there yet and I will only find out [how emotional it is] when I am at the Bridge," he said. "The only thing I know is that there is still one game to play.
"This was a good result. We still have our chances, so I am not sure how it will be in a few weeks' time.
"It will be a difficult game but I think at 1-1 the game is still open, so we're going to go there and try to create a big surprise."
Bookmakers make Chelsea overwhelming favourites to progress and, asked if he believed Roberto Mancini's side could upset the applecart, Drogba said: "Of course. If not, I stay at home, I don't travel. I don't go to Stamford Bridge if I don't believe."
Can't wait for 18th March. got my ticket and hoping for an early 3-0 lead, with a Drogba consolation in the 88th min...- cozens