Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has made the decision to retire from football following a 20-year senior career where he became something of an icon.
Most famous for his time at Stamford Bridge, the Ivorian striker scored a staggering 362 goals in 783 games for the eight clubs he represented. 164 of those came for Chelsea in less than 400 matches, making it incredibly easy to see why he is loved so much by Blues fans.
His finest hour undoubtedly came on 19th May 2012 in the UEFA Champions League final where he dragged Chelsea back into the game against Bayern Munich with a bullet header in the dying minutes before scoring the winning penalty. That brought his side their first ever European Cup and was one of the 14 trophies he won in the nine seasons spent in West London.
Four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields and, of course, the Champions League were the honours he obtained in that time period. It was his impact in finals that was so very important, scoring in seven of the 10 he played in and being known as the man for big occasions.
A 26-year-old Drogba was signed from Marseille by a certain Jose Mourinho for a £24 million fee that was heavily questioned. He had to wait just three games for a goal, a header against Crystal Palace, but he finished the season with just 10 league goals as Chelsea lifted their first title.
As the Londoners became the second team to retain the trophy in the Premier League era, the powerful frontman went two better, netting 12 league goals. However, his best season came in 2009/10 when Chelsea won their third title, Drogba finished top goalscorer in the league, notching his best total of 29 goals in just 32 appearances.
The two-time African footballer of the year returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 and he managed to get his hands on another Premier League winners’ medal. A career in American football followed from there with spells at Montreal Impact and Phoenix Rising where he made his mark, leaving a positive lasting impression on MLS and USL Championship supporters.
He bows out of the professional game as one of the greatest strikers in Premier League, and possibly even world football, history as well as a great human who brought peace to his country along with his part in endless charity work in his home continent. We would like to wish Didier every success in his retirement and future endeavours.