Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba announces retirement at 40
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba announced his retirement on Wednesday, calling time on a 20-year illustrious career during which the Ivorian won four Premier League titles and a Champions Trophy in 2012.
Drogba, 40, had two spells at Chelsea both under Jose Mourinho. He scored 164 goals in 381 games for them leading the club to numerous titles – including the equalising goal and the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich – during his stay.
He led the club to three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups during the eight-year stay in his first spell at the club. Drogba was one of the pioneers that began the revival at the West London club under new owner Roman Abramovich.
The deadly striker had begun his career at French club Le Mans in 1998 before being signed by top-tier club Guingamp in 2002. A year late he moved to Olympique de Marseille before being signed by Chelsea. He was the main attacking threat under Portuguese coach Mourinho and led the club to their first top-flight English title in more than 50 years.
Drogba then left Chelsea in 2012 and had brief spells in Turkey and China before he was again signed up by Chelsea after being insisted by Mourinho. He won a fourth Premier League title in a one year stay during his second spell in 2014-15 and left the club as their fourth highest scorer of all-time.
He last played Phoenix Rising FC in the United States and retired after the club lost the USL Championship game 1-0 against Louisville City FC, failing to make it to the MLS – the top tier league in the US. He is also an owner at the club and has stayed back after retirement to help the club grow and progress into the top-tier.
Drogba has also made over 100 appearances for his national team Ivory Coast and voted the African Footballer of the Year twice in his career (2006 and 2009).
It’s the best way to end, helping some young talent to develop,” Drogba told the BBC after announcing his retirement
“To give something back to the game was the best way to finish as I have learned so much in the game.”