IT IS still possible that when Chelsea trot out for the Community Shield clash with Man City in August that Didier Drogba will be there, leading the line again at his beloved Wembley.
But don't bet heavily on it. There should be a sense of closure for Drogba in the next 24 hours.
The Ivorian dead-batted all the questions that came his way about his future at the final press conference ahead of Saturday night's Champions League final.
He said any links to Barcelona were false and that he would happily sit down with chief executive Ron Gourlay to discuss a possible contract.
Yet the suspicion remains that Drogba will be busting a gut in the Allianz Arena – or the Fussball Arena as it is known for the occasion - to ensure this could be a swansong to beat all swansongs.
Even if he is unsuccessful in his mission, it will feel all over, given that defeat would banish the Blues from next year's competition.
Whatever happens against Bayern Munich – and the odds are against Chelsea, since only Liverpool in 1984 have ever managed to defeat a host club in a final before – Drogba's legendary status at Stamford Bridge is assured.
But there is no doubt the Blues striker wants this one more than anything in his career, such has been the agony of the near-misses which have preceded it.
Certainly he craves it more than anything – to equal the 'moment of magic' he felt when the Ivory Coast first qualified for the World Cup finals.
However glorious his past involvement in the world's premier club competition, the 'one that got away' still nags away. And to see how much it means to him, you have only to remember how frustration got the better of him in the final in 2008, when he was sent off and denied a role in the penalty shoot out.
His frustration was even more palpable in the Barcelona semi-final of 2009, when scandalous refereeing denied him – and Chelsea - a chance of instant redemption in that year's Rome final.
“Like every game I play, I want to enjoy it, but tomorrow, the most important thing will be to win the game,” Drogba said on the eve of final press conference in the bowels of Munich's futuristic new stadium with the distinctive soft-padding exterior.
“Everybody's talking about last game, but no matter what happens, I'm just happy because we are again in a Champions League final and it's fantastic.
“I don't really think about this [my future] because tomorrow's game is so important. We've been waiting four years to be in this situation and to be able to put the club at the top of European football. Really what's important is not my future or my contract.”
Drogba continued: “Being sent off in the 2008 final was disappointing for me and the club as well and I apologised to the fans. So it's one memory I'll never forget, though at the same time it's the past and we learnt from that and hope tomorrow's going to better for us.
“When I was young, I used to watch these big finals on TV – Zinadine Zidane scoring with his volley in 2002, and every Champions league game for me is special and every time I'm on the pitch, I feel lucky.
“I think we deserve to be here. It was very difficult and nobody expected us to be there at the beginning of the season, but I think we did everything to reach the finals and to try to win it.
“We're playing away, but it's a final, and the most important thing is for us to be here. It doesn't matter if it's here or Stamford Bridge.”
Bayern should enjoy a formidable advantage as hosts of the final as they seek to win the title for a fifth time.
They have won 14 of their last 15 games at home in Europe and only lost once at home to an English team in 16 ties – Norwich City the improbable exception to the rule.
Drogba scored in 2005 when the sides met at the old Olympic Stadium, but Chelsea still needed a home win to win the quarter-final tie overall, having lost 3-2 in Germany.
There is greater comfort to be had in the fact that since Bayern beat Leeds United in the final of 1975, German sides have have lost four Champions League finals against English Clubs, with Bayern beaten in two of them.