Didier Drogba announces retirement date

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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.

didier drogba
Didier Drogba was a late bloomer; the Ivorian didn’t hit 20 goals or more in a season until he was 24, in the 2002/03 season with Guingamp. He scored 21 goals in 39 appearances, quite a contrast to his paltry tally of 18 goals from his previous 83 appearances for Guingamp and Le Mans.

“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.

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