As far as club legends go, Didier Drogba is right up there at Chelsea. The Ivorian personified his manager, Jose Mourinho, upon his arrival at the club with his passion, skill and fierce will to win all present on the pitch before he went on to become a hero in his own right with cup final goals and the vital penalty kick that won the Champions League fro the London club in 2012.
Drogba even completed an emotional return to the club for the title-winning 2014/15 campaign and remains a top level player with Montreal Impact in North America’s Major League Soccer. Not a bad career at all!
Fancy some more details? Well here are some key numbers and the story behind them for Drogba.
We’ll kick this one off with an up-to-date fact… Drogba has scored nine goals in nine Major League Soccer games since joining Montreal Impact over the summer. Despite being 37, the Ivorian is one of the American top tier’s best centre-forwards, with his mix of power and explosiveness making him a handful for defenders across the division.
Droba’s efforts have even hauled the Impact back into play-off contention after a relatively low-key start to the campaign.
Players’ big moves often come in their early 20s nowadays, with teams scouting extensively to keep themselves ahead of the game. However, Drogba was a late bloomer, with his Chelsea switch coming at the age of 26. He still managed eight years at Stamford Bridge before leaving to play for Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray before completing an emotional return to help the Blues to the league title in 2014/15, though.
Not a bad record! Drogba pretty much averaged a goal every other game for Chelsea during the club’s rise to become one of Europe’s biggest names. The African star joined alongside Jose Mourinho, and become the focal point of the Special One’s XI before keeping his place under managers such as Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez to help the club to titles and cups despite the purchases of mega stars such as Andriy Shevchenko, Hernan Crespo and Fernando Torres.
Drogba’s 164 goals in all competitions put the 37-year-old fourth in the Blues’ all-time scoring records. Only Frank Lampard, Bobby Tambling and Kerry Dixon sit above the Ivorian, who is the only non-English player in the club’s top 10.
While Drogba has lifted the Premier League title on four occasions with Chelsea, he’s only tasted league glory on one other occasion through his career – 2012/13 with Galatasaray. In his 30s, ‘Drog’ played a key role in the Istanbul giants’ Super Lig triumph, but earlier in his career he played for an out-muscled Marseille in Ligue 1 and endured a turbulent spell in the Chinese Super League.
Time for another one in the United States? Potentially, Drogba is signed up to play at the Saputo Stadium until the end of the 2016 season.