Didier Drogba retires from football [Update #15]


PPCL Hall of Famer
Mar 21, 2012
According to various media sources, Chelsea have announced that Drogba will be leaving the club.

I must say I thought he was going to stay after his heroics in the Champions League, but it wasn't to be.

He's had a great Chelsea career and will be regarded as a legend there.
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Great player a legend of chelsea and one of the greatest strikers of all time.Thanks for all the memories Didier!!!
He ends on a high, good time to leave. He has been a class player for Chelsea

On form Drogba was just phenomenal, a bit of a shame he regularly dived, pretended to be hurt etc etc BUT no doubts when he played football he was quality
Drogba confirms he will be leaving

Didier Drogba finally brought down the curtain on his glorious Chelsea career on Tuesday. The striker confirmed that he is leaving the club when his contract runs out at the end of June.

The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international has spent eight years at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances, and helped the Blues to win 10 titles.

One of those titles, of course, was the Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Saturday, when Drogba scored a late equaliser in normal time and then netted the winning kick in the penalty shootout.

He said: "I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea. It has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but I am very proud of what we have achieved. As a team we have accomplished so much, and have won every single trophy possible. Saturday was a very special moment for everyone at the club and for all the fans, and I am very proud to have played my part in bringing many trophies to this club which has been my home for the last eight years.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the club especially Roman [Abramovich], and my team-mates, many of whom have become very close friends and will be my friends for life. I would also like to say a very special thank you to the Chelsea fans, who have shown me so much love and support over the years.

"I wish the club all the best and continued success for the future – you will always be in my heart."

Chelsea, meanwhile, praised the striker's contribution to the most successful era of the club's history. The chief executive, Ron Gourlay, said: "Didier is undoubtedly a Chelsea legend and will always be part of the Chelsea family. He is certainly leaving on a high after Saturday night but he feels the time is right for a new challenge.

"Of course Didier has contributed so much to all of Chelsea's recent successes. He has been a consummate professional during his entire time here and as one of the natural leaders in our squad he has been an inspiration to a lot of our younger players.

"We have known for some time that this outcome was likely but Didier and the club only made a final decision on that in the last couple of days, because for obvious reasons neither Didier nor the club wanted to distract focus away from the Champions League final. The talks were amicable all the way through and we wish him all the best for the future. He is welcome back to Stamford Bridge at any time – either as a player or as a guest of ours."

Drogba leaves Chelsea having scored 157 goals in 341 appearances. He is the club's fourth all-time highest scorer, his 34 goals in European competition is a Chelsea record by 10 goals and managed nine strikes in nine cup finals.

He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two Carling Cups and, finally, the Champions League. He has been named Chelsea's Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year and won the Premier League golden boot twice

Sauce: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/22/didier-drogba-leaves-chelsea

Good to see him leaving on a high and he will never be forgotten

Who would have taught the last kick of Chelsea FC would win him the Champions League

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Good time for him to leave .. if he's got any fight left in him he'll join Barca instead of going to China.
Drogba On a potential Chelsea return. He would love to come back to the club in some capacity, although he's not sure if the pressure of being manager is for him. His words: "If Chelsea ask me to come cut the grass, I will do it!".
A legend for Chelsea, in English football as a centre forward, and also what he has done for the Ivory Coast. Any of the bitter teenagers in their River Island t shirts out there should read about what Didier has contributed back home to improve his country. A good-natured gentleman who will be missed.
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His 2 goals in the champions league final against Bayern Munich will be remembered. Well done legend! :14:
as a United fan always wanted him at United.. Perhaps Drogba hasn't had the career he should have had, came quiet late to a big club and didn't score as many goals as a striker of his quality should. But one thing i can tell you, he is the biggest of the big game players i have ever seen in my life. His record in cup finals is ridiculous, apparently has scored in the last 9 finals he has played in.

he dived alot and moaned when his team was beaten, but i for one will always remember him as a guy you would have have in your team if you are playing a final or a big game. fitting that his last kick for Chelsea was the penalty which won them the CL.
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has confirmed his retirement from playing, ending "an amazing 20 years".

The Ivory Coast striker, 40, had two spells at Chelsea, scoring 164 goals in 381 games and winning four Premier Leagues and the 2012 Champions League.

He spent the last 18 months of his career with US side Phoenix Rising, the club he co-owns.

"After 20 years, I have decided to put an end to my playing career," he told BBC World Service's Sportshour.

It had been expected Drogba would retire after the United Soccer League Cup final earlier this month, with his last game a 1-0 defeat by Louisville City in the final of the United States' second tier.

"It's the best way to end, helping some young talent to develop," he said.

"To give something back to the game was the best way to finish as I have learned so much in the game."

Drogba did not play top-flight football until the age of 23, when French side Guingamp signed him from Ligue 2 Le Mans in January 2002.

He moved to Marseille 18 months later - and the following year completed a reported £24m move to Chelsea, where he had the best spell of his career.

He also won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 and 2009-10.

He left on a high, scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final shootout against Bayern Munich.

Drogba then spent six months with Shanghai Shenhua and a year and a half with Galatasaray before returning to Chelsea.

He scored seven goals in 2014-15, winning a fourth Premier League title and a third League Cup, leaving the club as their fourth highest scorer of all time.

In 2015, he joined Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact and then became player-owner of Phoenix Rising.

He scored 65 times in 105 caps for the Ivory Coast, playing in three World Cups and being named African Footballer of the Year twice.

'My mum was in tears' - growing up and leaving Ivory Coast

Drogba grew up in the Ivorian capital Abidjan and moved to France at the age of six to live with his uncle.

"Tito means 'my friend'. My mum calls me this. She was young when she had me so I was a friend, a confidant, someone she can rely on. Still now she calls me that because things will never change.

"What I remember is a young kid always with his mum and dad. My mum was 16 when she had me and my dad was working at the bank. My uncle was living in Europe and coming back and forth. I was curious to see what was happening on the other side of the world, he was always bringing sweets or footballs or shirts.

"The idea of leaving Ivory Coast when I was six came when my uncle and his wife came to Ivory Coast and she was playing with me and I got close to her. My dad wanted me to go to France to have a better chance to study, a better chance than he had.

"I was excited to leave Ivory Coast and go to France until I got to the airport. My mum was in tears, I could see sadness in her face. I realised this six-year-old would leave his mum and dad to go to a place he doesn't even know. As a kid I was sad too, everything changed."

'Why are you playing at right-back?' - start of a career

"I was 11 when I started playing with a team for the first time in the north of France in Dunkirk.

"I started as a right-back. I was going up and down, scoring goals from set-pieces, coming inside and shooting. My uncle said 'why are you playing as a right-back? As a family we only have strikers'.

"When I moved to another city I introduced myself as a striker. Luckily enough I scored 40 goals that season and that's where everything started.

"Before joining Le Mans in 1998 I was writing letters to first division teams for a trial and I would never get a positive answer but I never gave up. When I had the chance to go to Le Mans I jumped on it.

"Moving to Marseille was part of my dream - I used to say to my friends when I was at Le Mans 'you will see one day I will play with this team'. In 2003 I moved to Marseille so my dream became a reality. It was the best dream I ever had in my life."

'He changed my life' - finding Jose

In 2004, Drogba was signed by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho for £24m.

"When someone gives you the chance to buy one of the best payers in the world and he says 'no, this is the guy I want' it makes you feel special. I always tried to give it back to him.

"He changed my life, he changed the story of my family. He told me if you want to be the best you have to come and play with one of the best teams in the world and one of the best managers in the world… no, the best manager in the world. Everyone was saying £24m was a lot of money. People doubted. When I left I think the way everyone reacted, I think I covered the investment.

From hospital to Champions League hero

In August 2011, Drogba was knocked unconscious in a game against Norwich and taken to hospital. Nine months later he would score the decisive penalty to secure Chelsea's first ever Champions League title.

"If it was a movie, I don't know if you could have written the scenario better. The last Chelsea game for me, last chance to play in the Champions League final.

"The season was not going so well for me, I had quite a few injuries and months before that I was at the hospital. To have the chance to be in the most important day of this club after this big incident that really scared me, that was the best moment as a player with a Chelsea shirt."

'I would imagine fans celebrating' - coping in the big moments

"When I was in big games I was always reminding myself that when I was outside my parents' house, putting the ball on the ground and thinking about scoring a penalty in the last minute of a game - I was in a world where I would imagine fans celebrating. These dreams were so powerful that when I had a chance to realise them, I knew being in a final was a lucky part of my career."

Bringing peace to a nation

Moments after helping the Ivory Coast secure World Cup qualification in 2005, Drogba sent an impassioned message for peace to his civil war-torn nation. Within a week there was a ceasefire.

"Before being a footballer, I'm a human being, I'm a man. I have a life to lead, I want to live in a peaceful country. My country was at war and tensions were there. I care for my country and I did what I had to do for my country. The country is divided and the only thing that unites us is football.

"When I decided to play for Ivory Coast I didn't know I would one day captain the team and lead them to three World Cups tournaments. I never imagined that, that I would play such an important role in the country's history. I had the opportunity to play for France, but what I achieved with Ivory Coast - and as a man - I don't think I could have done that for France."

One of my all-time favourite strikers.

At his best he was a nightmare for defenders.