"I wanna thank all the players, manager, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind ." This is the statement Ivory Coast all-time record scorer Didier Drogba, (65 goals) wrote on his twitter page last Wednesday November 21,2018, to announce his retirement from football. After a 20-year footballing career, Drogba exits the green turf at the of age 40. Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Drogba flew to France at the age of five to live with his uncle, Michel Goba who was a professional footballer. His mother nicknamed him « Tito » after President Jospi Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, whom he greatly admired. In France, Drogba finished his secondary cycle and moved to the town of Le Mans to study accountancy in the university. Still training Drogba had to work double hard to gain playing time with his club Le Mans as it took four years to be capable of training every day and playing every week.
MARRIAGE A TURNING POINT
At the age of 21, the Ivorian striker signed his first professional contract and equally made his first team debut in 1999. The raison d’etre for the Drogba’s transformation was his marriage to his Malian wife Diakité Lalla, a lady he met in Paris. Her being pregnant for the first child Didier Drogba knew he was growing for new responsibilities. The couple have three children now. After two seasons, Drogba left Le Mans for Guingamp, where in his first full season, with Florent Malouda, the pair formed prolific offensive duo and the reward was a transfer the following season to Olympique Marseille. In Marseille, Drogba’s career went to another level at his finished the season with a whooping 19 goals and won the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) player of the year award and was finalist in the
UEFA Cup 2003. DROGBA THE PEACEMAKER
Didier Drogba is credited to be one of the main protagonists of peace in his country Ivory Coast. In the heart of the Ivorian civil war, after qualifying Ivory Coast for their first-ever participation in 2006 World Cup, Drogba made several pleas to combattants to lay down their arms. In this same light, he moved an African Cup of Nations qualifier fixture to Bouake, a strong rebel camp in an attempt to confirm the peace process. In January 2007, Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Develpoment Programme (UNDP) as Goodwill Ambassador. Before retiring after a globtrotter career, Drogba became the first player to be club owner. As he bought MLS club Phoenix Rising in the United States of America.
Yves Drogba Tébily
Date of Birth: 11 March 1978
Place of Birth: Abidjan, Ivory
1998-2002: Le Mans
2012-2013: Shanghai Shensua
2015-2016: Montreal Impact
2017-2018: Phoenix Rising