Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has revealed to French outlet RMC Sports that he will hang up the boots in 2018.
The current Phoenix Rising striker has enjoyed a trophy laden 20 years as a professional footballer, winning the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and English Premier League with Chelsea.
He is Chelsea’s 4th all-time top goalscorer, netting 164 times from 381 outings across two spells, and is Ivory Coast’s top goalscorer with 65 goals from 104 appearances.
“I think next year will be my last season,” said Drogba, who turns 40 in March.
“There comes a time when you have to stop. I need time for my other projects. It’s good to play, but at 39, it holds me back a bit.”
Didier Drogba became the first player-owner in football history when he took over current club Phoenix Rising FC this year, joining after a two-season stint in the MLS with Montreal Impact.
Despite his age, Drogba hasn’t lost his predatory instincts in front of goal, registering double-figure tallies in each of his last three seasons in the United States, including 10 goals from 14 appearances in the USL this year.