Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is a retired Ivorian professional footballer who was born on March 11, 1978. He played as a striker and also captained the Ivory Coast national team. Drogba is also the all-time top scorer of the team he was a captain of. His training in football started from the tender age of five, after he was sent to France to his uncle who was a professional footballer. The ace football player also does a lot of social work and philanthropy under the banner of his Didier Drogba Foundation. He set up this foundation in 2007.
As he turns a year older today, here is a look at some of the interesting facts of his football journey:
When Drogba was 15 years old he became an apprentice with second-division Levallois in France
During 1997-98 he shifted to Le Mans FC. In his second season, he was signed as a professional.
In January 2002, the footballer switched to En Avant de Guingamp, wherein he scored 17 goals in 34 league games.
After his successful stint with Guingamp, he moved to Olympique de Marseille in 2003. Here he scores 19 goals in 35 domestic matches and another 11 goals in European play. While he was in the club the team also reached the finals of 2004 UEFA. Unfortunately, they lost the match to Valencia by 0-2.
Drogba moved to Chelsea FC in 2004. While he was in the club, they won their first Premier League championship in 50 years. He was an important part of Chelsea and his role in ensuring Chelsea’s win in both the Football Association (FA) Cup and Carling Cup trophies that season is still remembered by football fans. Further, the strong striker of the team also helped the club reach the 2008 Champions League final. However, the club eventually lost the match to Manchester United by a penalty kick.
In 2006, Drogba became the first player from Ivory Coast to score a goal in the FIFA World Cup.
In 2009, he made a strong comeback after the team won their second FA Cup with Drogba in the squad. In the subsequent year, Chelsea won FA Cup and the Premier League titles. Moreover, in 2012, he was the only goal scorer of the team in the Champions League final. Apart from that, he also managed to get an extra-time penalty kick. He is till date credited for winning the team’s first European club championship.
After his more than successful stint with Chelsea, Drogba moved to the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. His stay here was short as he only played 11 matches for the club.
In January 2013, he became a member of Istanbul’s Galatasaray SK. He heavily contributed to the club in winning the Turkish first-division championship in his inaugural season.
He returned to Chelsea in 2014 only for a yearlong contract, after which he moved to Montreal Impact.
In 2017, he joined the Phoenix Rising FC team as their part-owner and player.
In 2018 the iconic footballer retired from competitive play.