Wednesday , August 17 2022

Didier Drogba: Chelsea legend and Ivory Coast retreat from the game


Drogba about "making history" at Chelsea – Full Soccer Focus interview, Saturday 12:00 GMT on BBC One

Chelsea legendary Didier Drogba confirmed his withdrawal from the game, ending "an amazing 20 years".

40-year-old striker of Cote d'Ivoire had two witches at Chelsea, registering 164 goals in 381 games and winning four preliminary leagues and the 2012 Champions League.

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

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

Drogba was expected to retire after the end of the United League Cup earlier this month, with its last game a 1-0 defeat by Louisville City in the finals of the second level of the United States.

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

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

Drogba did not play top football until he was 23, when Frenchman Guingamp signed with Le Mans Ligue 2 in January 2002.

He moved to Marseilles 18 months later – and the following year ended a £ 24m relocation to Chelsea, where he had the best spell of his career.

Didier Drogba won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and Chelsea Champions League

Drogba won three Premier League titles in the first eight years of Chelsea, including each of his first two seasons in England, as well as four FA Cups and two Cups at the League.

He also won the Premier League gold boot in 2006-07 and 2009-10.

He left on high, marking the winning penalty in the final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Drogba 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 the fourth goalie of all time.

In 2015, he joined the Major League Soccer team in Montreal Impact and became the owner of Phoenix Rising.

He enrolled 65 times in 105 caps for Côte d'Ivoire, playing in three World Cups and dubbed Africa Football.

Didier Drogba scored in Rising's first three play-off games because he won the US Conference Conference Western Conference but failed to score in the final because he lost 1-0

Drogba's career in his own words

Didier Drogba looked back on his career and life with Focus Football – Watch the entire interview for Saturday's program at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.

"My mother was in tears" – growing up and leaving Côte d'Ivoire

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

"That means" my friend "My mother calls me this She was young when he had me, so I was a friend, a confidant, someone he can rely on He still calls me that because things will never change.

"What I remember is a young child always with my mother and my father. My mother was 16 years old when my father and my father worked in the bank. My uncle lived in Europe and he had come back and forth. It's happening on the other side of the world, always bringing sweets or football balls or shirts.

"The idea of ​​leaving Ivory Coast when I was six years old came when my uncle and wife came to Ivory Coast and she was playing with me and I approached her. My father wanted me to go to France to had a better chance to study, a better chance than he had.

"I was delighted to leave Ivory Coast and go to France until I arrive at the airport. My mother was in tears, I saw its sadness in front of her and I realized that this six years would leave my mother and Dad to go to a place he does not even know. As a child, I was sad too, everything changed.

– Why are you playing right? – starting a career

"I was 11 years old when I started playing with a team for the first time in northern France in Dunkerque.

"I started like a back on my right, I went up and down, scoring goals from sets, coming in and shooting, my uncle said" why do you play as a back-back? As a family we have only attackers. "

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

"Before joining Le Mans in 1998, I was writing letters to the 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 she.

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

"He changed my life" – finding Jose

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

"When someone gives you the chance to buy one of the best payers in the world and say," No, that's the guy I want, "it makes you feel special. I've always tried to give it back.

"He changed my life, changed the story of my family, told me if you want to be the best 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 says that 24 million pounds have multiplied with money, people have doubted, and when I left, I think the way everyone has reacted, I think we covered the investment.

From hospital to hero of the Champions League

In August 2011, Drogba was struck unconsciously in a match against Norwich and taken to the hospital. Nine months later, he will mark the decisive punishment to win the title of the first Chelsea Champions League.

"If it was a movie, I do not know if you could write the script better. The last Chelsea game for me, the last chance to play in the Champions League final.

"The season was not that good for me, I had quite a few injuries and months before being in the hospital To have the chance to be in the most important day of this club after this great incident that really scared me, which was the best time as a player with a Chelsea shirt. "

"I imagine the fans were celebrating" – they are confronted in great moments

"When I was in big games I always remembered that when I was outside my parents' house, putting the ball to the ground and thinking of a punishment in the last minute of a match – I was in a world where I would be Imagined- you know the fans are celebrating. These dreams were so strong that when I had the chance to figure them out, I knew that in the end I was a lucky part of my career.

Bringing peace to a nation

Moments after helping the Ivory Cup to qualify for the World Cup in 2005, Drogba sent a passionate message of peace to his patients wounded by the civil war. Within a week, a ceasefire took place.

"Before being a footballer, I am a human being, I am a man, I have a life of leadership, I want to live in a peaceful country, my country is in war, and tensions are there, 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 Côte d'Ivoire, I did not know that I would run a team one day and lead them to three World Cup tournaments. I never imagined that I would play such an important role in the history of the country, the possibility of playing for France, but what I got with Côte d'Ivoire – and as a man – I do not think I could have done that for France. "

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