Didier Drogba retires: Former Chelsea striker hangs up his boots after glittering career

The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances over two spells with Chelsea, helping them win the Premier League four times and the Champions League in 2012

Thursday 22 November 2018 08:28
Comments
Drogba bows out after a glittering playing career
Drogba bows out after a glittering playing career

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba has confirmed his retirement as a player.

The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances over two spells with Chelsea, helping them win the Premier League four times and the Champions League in 2012, as well as four FA Cup triumphs and three League Cup victories.

Drogba had been playing this season in the United States with Phoenix Rising, the second-tier club at which he is a co-owner.

The veteran forward had been expected to hang up his boots following the United Soccer League Cup final defeat to Louisville City earlier this month.

And confirmation arrived on Wednesday evening as Drogba posted a picture of him as a youngster on his social media accounts, accompanied by a farewell message.

He said: "When I think of the last 20 years of my professional career, looking at this picture cant make me more proud of what I've achieved as a player but most importantly how this journey has shaped me as a man.

"If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into reality. #alwaysbelieve

"I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind!!!

"Also a huuuuge thank you and love to my family, my personal team for supporting me all my career during the ups and downs no matter what.

Drogba won four Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge 

"Looking forward to the next chapter and hoping God will bless me as much as he did for my football career."

Drogba played for Le Mans and Guingamp before joining Marseille, who he left for Chelsea in 2004 for a then club-record £24million deal.

He left Chelsea to join Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in the summer of 2012, but six months later moved on to Galatasaray in Turkey before returning to Stamford Bridge in July 2014.

A move to Major League Soccer franchise Montreal Impact followed, which would later see the Ivory Coast forward stay in the US when taking up an opportunity in Phoenix.

Drogba continues to work with his foundation on projects in his homeland and across Africa, and could yet decide to start a coaching career.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in