Sunday, March 11, 2018

11 March 1978 - Drogba Rising

On 11 March 1978, Didier Drogba was born in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. He went on to become one of the world's dominant strikers.

Growing up, he spent many years living in France and it was there he started his professional career, joining the youth program at Levallois in 1996, then moving to Le Mans in 1997. In 1998, he signed a professional contract with Le Mans and played there for three and a half years, scoring a total of only 15 goals in 75 appearances before moving to Guingamp for £80,000 in the winter transfer window.

The move sparked his career. In his first full season there, he scored 21 goals, attracting the interest of Marseille who signed him for £3.3M in the summer 2003. After only one remarkable season at Marseille, in which he scored 32 goals across all competitions and was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year, he moved again, this time to Chelsea who paid £24M.

In eight seasons with Chelsea, he scored 157 goals in 341 appearances, making him the fourth-highest goalscorer in club history. He also collected a massive haul of silverware, including three league titles, four FA Cups, and one Champions League trophy.

Along the way, he also captained the Côte d'Ivoire national team and is their all-time leading scorer with 65 goals in 104 appearances.

After leaving Chelsea at the end of his contract in 2012, he spent time with Shanghai Shenhua (2012-13) and Galatasaray (2013-14) before returning to Chelsea for the 2014-15 season. He then played for the Montreal Impact (2015-16) before joining his current club, Phoenix Rising, as player-owner in 2017. 

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