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Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (born 11 March 1978 in Abidjanmarker, Côte d'Ivoiremarker) is an Ivorian footballer who plays in the centre forward position. He currently plays for Chelsea in the English Premier League and is the captain and all-time leading scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team. He has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's 8th highest goal scorer of all time.

As a young child Drogba moved to France. After playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans. A late bloomer, he signed his first professional contract aged 21 but it was not until the 2002–03 season that he realised his potential, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances in Ligue 1 for Guingamp. During the same season he made his first international appearance for Côte d'Ivoire in September and scored his first international goal the following February. He moved to Olympique de Marseille in 2003 for £3.3 million and his prolific ways continued, finishing as the third highest scorer in the league with 19 goals and making it to the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.

Drogba moved to Chelsea the following season for a record breaking fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Côte d'Ivoire player in history. In addition, Drogba scored decisive goals in the 2005 FA Community Shield and League Cup Final and helped the club win their first ever Premier League title. Drogba came to prominence as one of the world's foremost strikers in 2006 as he won the league title with Chelsea again and captained the national team for the first time. In the 2006 World Cup he scored Côte d'Ivoire's first ever goal of the competition and he was chosen as the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. The next season he finished as top scorer in the 2006–07 Premier League with 20 goals and also scored the winning goals in the 2007 League Cup and FA Cup finals.

Away from the pitch, Drogba is known for his charity work and was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme as a Goodwill Ambassador in 2007. He has three children with his Malianmarker wife, Alla.

Early life

Didier Drogba was born in Côte d'Ivoiremarker and at the age of five he was sent to France by his parents to live with his uncle, Michel Goba, a professional footballer. However, Drogba soon became homesick and returned to Abidjan after three years. His mother nicknamed him "Tito", after president Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia whom she admired greatly. He played football every day in a car park in the city but his return to Côte d'Ivoire was short lived. Both of his parents lost their jobs and he again returned to live with his uncle. In 1991, his parents also travelled to France, first to Vannes and then settling in 1993 at Antony in the Parismarker suburbs, at which point the 15-year-old Drogba returned to live with them and his siblings. It was here that he began playing team football more frequently, joining a local youth side.

Club career

Le Mans and Guingamp

Drogba began his career as a junior player at the semi-professional club Levallois, gaining a reputation as a prolific scorer in the youth team and impressing the coach with his professional attitude. His performances earned him a place in the senior squad but, despite scoring on his debut, the 18-year-old Ivorian failed to make an impression on Jacques Loncar, the first team coach. When he finished school he switched cities to study accountancy at college and he had to change club, becoming an apprentice at Ligue 2 club Le Mans. However, his first two years there were marred by injuries and he was physically struggling to cope with the training and match schedule. Former Le Mans coach Marc Westerloppe later remarked that "it took Didier four years to be capable of training every day and playing every week". Furthermore, Drogba's complicated family life meant that he had never attended a football academy and only began daily football training as a fully grown adult.

By age 21, Drogba realized that he had to establish himself as a player soon or else he would have little chance of becoming a professional footballer. He made his first team debut for Le Mans soon thereafter and signed his first professional contract in 1999. Drogba's personal life was also becoming more serious as he and his Malianmarker wife Alla had their first child, Isaac. He grew into his new responsibilities later stating: "Isaac's birth was a turning point in my life, it straightened me out". His first season boded well for the future, scoring seven goals in thirty games, but the following season did not live up to expectations. Drogba lost his place to Daniel Cousin due to injury, then upon his return he failed to score throughout the remainder of the season. However, he returned to form the following season making 21 appearances and scoring five times. Halfway through the 2001–02 season Ligue 1 club Guingamp consolidated months of interest with a transfer offer and Drogba left Le Mans for a fee of £80,000.

The second half of the 2001–02 season saw Drogba make eleven appearances and score three goals for Guingamp. While his contributions helped the club avoid relegation, the coaching staff remained unconvinced of their new young striker. However, the next season he rewarded his coaches' patience, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances and helping Guingamp finish seventh, a record league finish. He credited his teammates for his impressive season, highlighting the contributions of winger Florent Malouda, a long time friend of Drogba, as a key factor in his goalscoring prolificity that season. His strong goal scoring record attracted interest from larger clubs and at the end of the season he moved to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a fee of £3.3 million.

Marseille

Olympique de Marseille manager Alain Perrin signed Drogba from Guingamp, though he was soon replaced by José Anigo. Drogba retained his place in the team, scoring 19 goals and winning the Ligue de Football Professionnel's Player of the Year. He also scored five goals in that season's UEFA Champions League and six in the UEFA Cup. At the end of the season he was bought by Chelsea as the club's then record signing for £24 million. Drogba is still held in high esteem in Marseille where the crowd at the Stade Velodrome continue to chant his name. His shirt from his only season at OM is also framed in the basilica of Marseille, Notre-Dame de la Gardemarker, which he presented to the church before the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.

Chelsea

Signing for Chelsea in July 2004 for £24 million, Drogba scored in his third game for the club with a header against Crystal Palace. His season was interrupted when he pulled a stomach muscle against which kept him out of action for over two months. Chelsea won the Premiership, only their second English top-flight championship and their first in 50 years, and the League Cup, with Drogba scoring in extra time in a 3-2 final win against Liverpool at the Millennium Stadiummarker, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. Drogba scored 16 goals in 40 games for Chelsea in his first season: 10 in the Premiership, five in the Champions League and one in the League Cup final.

Drogba started the 2005–06 season by scoring two goals in a Community Shield win over Arsenal. His reputation was marred amidst accusations of cheating during Chelsea's 2-0 win over Manchester City. Replays showed that he had used his hand to control the ball before scoring the second of his two goals. Coming just a week after a similar incident against Fulham where the goal was disallowed, Drogba was accused of cheating. In a post match interview with the BBC, he acknowledged that he had handled the ball and seemingly admitted to cheating, saying, "Sometimes I dive, sometimes I stand," before immediately retracting his comment: "I don't dive, I play my game". Pundits speculated afterwards that the comments may have been due to Drogba's grasp of English being poor.

Chelsea went on to retain the league title with two games to play, becoming only the second team to win back-to-back English titles in the Premier League era. Again Drogba finished with 16 goals for the season, 12 in the league, two in the Community Shield, one in the Champions League and one in the FA Cup.

2006–07

Drogba out on tour with Chelsea in 2007


After the departure of Damien Duff to Newcastle United, Drogba switched from the number 15 shirt he had worn for Chelsea since 2004 to the number 11 shirt vacated by Duff. The season was a personal success for Drogba as he hit 33 goals in all competitions (more than his tally in the previous two seasons combined), including 20 in the Premier League to win the Golden Boot. In doing so, he became the first Chelsea player since Kerry Dixon in 1984–85 to reach 30 goals in a season. The breakdown of his 33 goals is; 20 in the Premier League, six in the UEFA Champions League, three in the FA Cup and four in the League Cup.

Among the highlights were scoring winners from outside the penalty area against Liverpool, Everton and Barcelona, a 93rd minute equalizer against Barcelona at the Camp Noumarker and both Chelsea's goals in their 2-1 League Cup final win over Arsenal. He also completed two hat-tricks; one against Watford and the other against Levski Sofia in the Champions League, Chelsea's first hat-trick in European competition since Gianluca Vialli in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1997. In his last competitive game that season, he scored the winning goal over Manchester United in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley Stadiummarker. This also meant that he joined Norman Whiteside (Manchester United in 1983) and Mark Hughes (Manchester United in 1994) as players who have scored goals in both domestic Finals in the same year in England, although Drogba was the first player to end up on the winning team after scoring in both finals.

In January 2007, Drogba was crowned the Ivorian Player of the Year, ahead of Kader Keita, Aruna Dindane, and Kolo Toure. In March, he was named African Footballer of the Year for the first time, ahead of Samuel Eto'o and Michael Essien. His performances during the season saw him named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo in the PFA Player of the Year awards.

Drogba faced problems off the pitch during the close season as his transfer from Marseille to Chelsea in July 2004 came under scrutiny. The Stevens inquiry in June 2007 expressed concerns because of the lack of co-operation from agents Pinhas Zahavi and Barry Silkman.

2007–08

Drogba training


The 2007–08 season began badly for Drogba as he expressed doubts about the departure of manager José Mourinho. He was reportedly in tears when Mourinho told him he was leaving the club, and said "Mourinho's departure destroys a certain familiarity we had at the club. Many of us used to play first and foremost for the manager. Now we need to forget those feelings and find another source of motivation". Following these claims, Drogba told France Football Magazine "I want to leave Chelsea. Something is broken with Chelsea, The damage is big in the dressing room". Despite having signed a four year contract with the club in 2006, Drogba reportedly pointed out several favoured clubs in the interview, identifying Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan or Internazionale as possible future destinations, he later admitted he regretted this and was 100% committed to Chelsea. He soon regained the trust of the board and fans , scoring in Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough on 20 October 2007, against Schalke 04 in the Champions League four days later, and 2 goals against Manchester City, giving superb performances in all.

Drogba continued scoring goals but suffered an injury at the training ground and decided to have an operation on his knee. He was unable to play for four weeks and missed key games against Valencia, Arsenal and Liverpool. Drogba returned from injury to play in an FA Cup third round match against QPR and wore the captain's armband for the last 30 minutes in which he was on the pitch, but that was his last performance for The Blues before international duty at the African Nations Cup. Upon his return Drogba scored a goal in the 2008 League Cup Final which made him the all-time leading scorer in League Cup Finals with four. He also became the first player to score in three League Cup finals and the first to score in three consecutive English domestic cup finals. He scored both goals in a key 2-1 victory against Arsenal on 23 March 2008 which took Chelsea equal on points with leaders Manchester United.



On 26 April 2008 Drogba faced controversy after a clash with Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidić. The Serbian centre-back had to have stitches under his lip after losing a tooth in the clash. There was discussion whether Drogba had the intention or not to injure his rival. The debate also called in to question an earlier incident on 26 November 2006 where Drogba elbowed Vidić. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expressed concerns over elbowing in the Premiership. Despite media speculation, Drogba's yellow card for the clash was deemed adequate punishment by the FA.

Controversy still dogged the player as before the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Liverpool, Drogba was accused of diving by Liverpool coach Rafael Benítez. Benítez claimed to have compiled a four-year dossier of Drogba's "diving" antics but Drogba hit back at Benítez saying in an interview with L'Equipe:

"Benítez was a coach I used to respect a lot.
I used to believe he had class but he has seriously disappointed me.
His words have shown his weakness.
A great coach will never attack a player so meanly.
If he doesn't want me to fall down he should focus on his team's game and tell his defenders to stop fouling me.
In the first leg, Carragher and Škrteľ didn't stop.
At the end of the match I was covered in bruises.
Last year, I picked up a broken rib during the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool"


On 30 April 2008 Drogba scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, which Chelsea won 3-2 at Stamford Bridgemarker. Mocking Rafa Benitez's previous comments, Drogba 'dove' in celebration after one of his goals. This was the first time Chelsea had beaten Liverpool in the semi-finals of the Champions League, having lost their previous two meetings to Liverpool. This also led to Chelsea reaching their first Champions League Final. Drogba became Chelsea's top scorer in European competition, the two goals he scored putting his tally at 17, beating Peter Osgood's record of 16. Drogba was sent off in the 117th minute of the Champions League Final for slapping defender Vidić, becoming only the second player to be sent off in a European Cup final - after Jens Lehmann in 2006 - and the first for violent conduct. Chelsea went on to lose 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra time. Chelsea assistant boss Henk ten Cate revealed Drogba was due to take the crunch fifth spot-kick in the shootout. Team captain John Terry took his place but missed after slipping whilst taking the penalty.

2008–09

Drogba suffered a string of injuries early on in the season and struggled to regain fitness, missing games from August to November due to knee problems. He scored his first goal of the season in mid-November but there was little reason to celebrate: he incurred disciplinary action and a three match ban for throwing a coin back into the stands and Chelsea suffered a League Cup defeat against Burnley. Drogba scored his second goal of the season in a 2–1 victory against CFR Cluj in the UEFA Champions League, while his first Premier League goal of the season came in a 2–0 win against West Bromwich Albion in late December 2008. Having missed many games through injury and suspension, Drogba had lost his first team place and manager Scolari favoured playing Nicolas Anelka as a lone striker rather than pairing the two. However, he resolved to regain his position in the squad and Chelsea remained keen to keep the Ivorian.

Upon the temporary appointment of Guus Hiddink in early February following the sacking of Scolari, Drogba enjoyed a rejuvenation of sorts, returning to his rich goal-scoring form with four goals in five games after the new manager took over. His revival in form saw him net twice against Bolton Wanderers, and four times in four Champions League matches, one in each leg of the last sixteen and quarter final of the competition against Juventus and Liverpool respectively, with these goals ensuring Chelsea's passage into the semi-finals. Just four days after his Champions League heroics, Drogba scored a late winner in the FA Cup semi-final match against Arsenal after Frank Lampard's superb pass found Drogba and he carefully rounded Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski before slotting into an empty net. Drogba also caused controversy after Chelsea's Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of FC Barcelona. Feeling that many decisions had gone against Chelsea, substituted Drogba confronted referee Tom Henning Øvrebø after the final whistle. He received a yellow card in the process and was recorded shouting "It's a fucking disgrace" into a live television camera. On 17 June 2009 UEFA subsequently handed him a six game European ban with the final two games suspended.The ban then was cut down by 1 match after an appeal by Chelsea F.C In the 2009 FA Cup Final he scored Chelsea's first and equalising goal as they went on to win 2-1. This was his sixth goal in a major cup final in England.

Although Drogba had previously expressed his desire to switch clubs, he decided to remain with the Blues under new coach Carlo Ancelotti and sign a new contract.

2009–10

Drogba began the season in fine form for Chelsea, netting a penalty during a shoot-out in the Community Shield over Manchester United, before scoring twice in a 2–1 victory over Hull City. Drogba earned himself an assist when he was fouled in the area to give Chelsea a penalty, which Frank Lampard duly converted, in a 3–1 victory over Sunderland. In Chelsea's third game of the season against West-Londonmarker rivals Fulham, Drogba scored his third goal of the season. Drogba scored his fourth goal of the season, against Stoke City; Chelsea ended winning the game 2–1 with a late strike from Malouda. He added a fifth at home against London rivals Tottenham on 20 September. He scored his 100th goal for Chelsea in a 3–1 defeat against Wigan Athletic. Drogba was again important in the 2–0 win over title rivals Liverpool on 4 October. He was involved in both goals, setting up Anelka and Malouda. He then scored a glancing header against Blackburn on 24 October 2009, bringing his tally to an impressive 8 goals in 11 appearances, scoring his third goal in as many games. Drogba continued his fine form scoring a header against Bolton in a 4–0 thrashing in the Carling Cup, Drogba went on to score a fine team goal in the same week with another 4–0 win against Bolton in the Premiership. Drogba has so far managed to score nine goals and give five assists this season in the Premier League.

After missing the first three Champions League matches for Chelsea with a ban, Drogba started the fourth game against Spanish side Athletico Madrid. He scored two goals in the last ten minutes and the match ended 2-2. The latter being a fine solo effort in which he beat a number of the opposition players and had his first effort saved by the goalkeeper but then slotted in the rebound. On November 29th, Drogba scored a brace against London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadiummarker, the second of which being a free kick from outside the box, the game ended 0-3 to Chelsea. These goals increase Drogba's personal tally against Arsenal, as he has now scored ten goals in eleven matches against the north London team. It also brought his tally for the season so far to a very impressive 14 goals in just 16 games.

International career

Drogba is a Côte d'Ivoire international and helped the team qualify for its first ever World Cup, held in Germany in 2006. He is the leading scorer for the Cote d'Ivoire team. His first cap came on 8 September 2002 against South Africa and he scored his first goal with "The Elephants" on 11 February 2003 against Cameroon in a 3–0 victory. He scored nine goals in eight qualifying games—statistically one of the best records in international football. In February 2005 he was voted runner-up to Samuel Eto'o for the African Footballer of the Year award.

In February 2006, Drogba captained Côte d'Ivoire to their second African Cup of Nations final, scoring the only goal in their semi-final match with Nigeria and putting away the deciding spot-kick in their record-tying 12–11 penalty shootout quarter-final win over Cameroon. However, they lost in the final to Egypt 4–2 on penalties after a 0–0 draw, with Drogba's shot being stopped by Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary in a penalty shoot-out.

In the 2006 World Cup, Côte d'Ivoire were drawn in a "group of death" with Serbia and Montenegro, the Netherlands and Argentina. On 11 June 2006, Drogba scored the first World Cup goal of his career and of his country's history in the opening game against Argentina, but his team lost 2–1. At the post-match press conference, Drogba praised his team-mates for a good overall performance (singling out Bakari Kone and Didier Zokora in particular), but said that he and his team-mates had to work as a team and be more efficient in possession: "Football's not an individual sport, you win and lose as a team...We had a lot of chances but did not take them and they did. That's the difference between big teams like Argentina and small teams like us".

Côte d'Ivoire was eliminated from the World Cup after their next game, a 1–2 defeat to the Netherlandsmarker, but came from 0–2 down to win against Serbia and Montenegro 3–2 in their final group game, with Drogba watching from the sidelines following suspension. Drogba was seen celebrating wildly with his Ivorian teammates in the dugout at the final whistle. He later told German television that he was "immensely proud" of his teammates, and felt that the team had done Africa proud, especially by demonstrating resolve and refusing to accept defeat.

In the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Côte d'Ivoire were drawn in a group with Nigeria, Mali and underdogs Benin. Drogba scored two goals in the group stage, opening the scoring in the 4–1 win over Benin and the first on the score sheet again in the 3–0 win over Mali. Côte d'Ivoire had beaten Nigeria earlier on in the group through a Salomon Kalou goal, and so they went through to the Quarter Finals comfortably, finishing top of group B. In the quarter finals, Drogba was on the score sheet once again in the 5–0 thrashing of Guinea with the last four goals coming in the final twenty minutes. The semi final was a rematch of the 2006 final against Egypt, but it was to be the end of the road for Didier and the Côte d'Ivoire, at the hands of the 2006 champions, losing 4–1 and then had no more luck in third place play-off, losing 4–2 to Ghana. Drogba ended up joint top scorer for the Côte d'Ivoire along with Salomon Kalou, Abdul Kader Keita and Boubacar Sanogo on three goals.

Personal life

Drogba is married to Alla, a Malianmarker woman whom he met in Paris, and the couple have three children together. His eldest son, Isaac, was born in France in 1999. He has two younger brothers who are also footballers: Joël and Freddy Drogba. Freddy, 17, is currently in the youth system of French side Le Mans. On 24 January 2007, Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Goodwill Ambassador. The UNDP were impressed with his previous charity work and believed that his high profile would help raise awareness on African issues. Drogba's charity work continued when, in late 2009, he announced he would be donating the 3 million GBP signing on fee for his endorsement of Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjanmarker. This work was done through Drogba's recently created "Didier Drogba Foundation" and Chelsea announced they too would donate the fee for the deal toward the Foundation's project. Drogba decided on building the hospital after a recent trip to the Ivorian capital's other hospitals, saying "...I decided the Foundation's first project should be to build and fund a hospital giving people basic healthcare and a chance just to stay alive."

Statistics

Club

Club Season Ligue 2 Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Le Mans 1998–99 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1999–00 30 7 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 32 7
2000–01 11 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
2001–02 21 5 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 24 7
Total 64 12 3 1 4 1 0 0 0 0 71 14
Club Season Ligue 1 Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Guingamp 2001–02 11 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 3
2002–03 34 17 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 39 21
Total 45 20 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 50 24
Club Season Ligue 1 Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Marseille 2003–04 35 19 2 1 2 1 16 11 0 0 55 32
Total 35 19 2 1 2 1 16 11 0 0 55 32
Club Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Chelsea 2004–05 26 10 2 0 4 1 9 5 0 0 41 16
2005–06 29 12 3 1 1 0 7 1 1 2 41 16
2006–07 36 20 6 3 5 4 12 6 1 0 60 33
2007–08 19 8 1 0 1 1 11 6 0 0 32 15
2008–09 24 5 6 3 2 1 10 5 0 0 42 14
2009–10 13 11 0 0 1 1 2 2 1 0 17 14
Total 147 66 18 7 14 8 51 25 3 2 233 108
Overall Total 291 117 26 13 22 10 67 36 3 2 409 178


National team

National Team Year Friendlies International

Competition
Total Goal Ratio
App Goals App Goals App Goals
Côte d'Ivoire
2002 0 0 1 0 1 0 0.00
2003 4 1 3 3 4 1 0.57
2004 3 3 4 3 7 6 0.86
2005 3 1 5 6 8 7 0.88
2006 7 4 7 4 14 8 0.57
2007 2 1 6 3 8 4 0.50
2008 2 1 6 3 8 4 0.50
2009 2 2 5 6 7 8 1.14
Overall Total 27 15 33 26 60 41 0.68


International goals



Honours

Club



Individual



References

  1. Includes link to interview in RealVideo format.
  2. Hytner, David (2008-11-14). faces police action and FA ban after coin toss. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-01-23.
  3. Williams, Ollie (2008-12-26). Chelsea 2-0 West Brom. BBC Sport. Retrieved on 2009-01-23.
  4. Drogba to fight for Chelsea place. BBC Sport (2009-01-22). Retrieved on 2009-01-23.
  5. http://www.premierleague.com/page/Headlines/0,,12306~1795081,00.html
  6. http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3162390,00.html
  7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8337806.stm
  8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/8377195.stm
  9. Christ-Freddy DROGBA
  10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/chelsea/6549667/Chelseas-Didier-Drogba-donates-3-million-to-help-build-African-hospital.html


External links




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