On the 22nd of May 2012 Didier Drogba announced he would be leaving Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of June. Hi last touch of a football in the blue of Chelsea was to take the 5th penalty in a Champions League final, to score Chelsea’s 4th and secure the trophy for the first time, against the Germans on their home soil.
This, after scoring in the 88th minute to force the game in to extra-time and beyond, It’s no surprise Didier was the main man, he’s been there and done it before. Drogba signed for Chelsea in July 2004 and spent 8 fantastic years at the club, winning 10 trophies including 3 Premier League titles.
He has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player. He scored in a record 4 separate FA Cup finals, as well as 4 goals in League Cup finals and a total of 9 goals in 9 cup final appearances. Didi was always a big game player.
The Striker is also Africa’s top scorer in the Champions League with 39 (5 for Marseille)
The Ivorian has scored 157 goals for Chelsea making him the 4th highest scorer in Chelsea’s all time list, behind Lampard, Dixon and Tambling. Drogba was Chelsea top scorer twice, including in the double-winning 2009-10 season, with his 37 goals the most in a single top flight season for Chelsea since Jimmy Greaves scored 43 in the 1960-61 season. The total included 29 league goals, 3 of which secured on the final day of the season in an 8-0 battering of Wigan Athletic, winning Drogba the Golden Boot, and he was voted Player of the Year by the fans in the same season.
Drogba scores 0.46 goals per game. scoring 100 in 226 league appearances a phenomenal return. He is also Chelsea’s highest scorer in European football ever.
Didier Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal and his last in the league, against Stoke City in a 1-0 win at the Bridge, the legend paid homage to the penalty spot where-lies the ashes of Peter Osgood another Chelsea great, a sign of pure class from our modern day talisman.
Didier Drogba became the first African to reach the 100 milestone and the second, behind Lampard, to reach the milestone for Chelsea.
Chelsea Statistics show Drogba loved playing the big games notably Arsenal and Liverpool with stunning strikes on the volley or dipping free-kicks, he virtually tore them apart on his own. Drogba scored 13 of his 157 goals against Arsenal, a further 9 against Liverpool more than any other side.
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The Ivorian is a complete striker, despite having a supposed weaker left foot, Drogba has scored 40 with his left foot and 33 with his head. the 67 goals with his right foot are split with 8% by free-kick (directly or from a lay-off) and 5 (3%) from the penalty spot. He has also mustered 71 assists showing he is also a team player.
Didier Drogba will always be remembered at the club for bringing the Champions League to a London team for the first time, but his performances and his goals show that, final kick was the minimum he deserved after battering and terrorizing defences in England and Europe for 8 years. Arsenal will breath easier knowing that is the last they will see of the Dark Destroyer in a blue shirt. Defenders across the country will sleep easy now.
But perhaps this homage should end on Didier Drogba the man, who has been named African Player of the Year on two occasions, his involvement in the peace process in his native Ivory Coast’s civil war led to Drogba being named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2010.
Didier Drogba’s foundation created in 2007 aims to provide financial and material support in both health and education to the African people.
The man is a God and will always be remembered as a legend at Chelsea.