Didier Drogba Biography

Didier Drogba Biography

Ivorian football player

Didier Drogba (born March 11, 1978 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), Ivorian professional football (soccer) player who was Côte d’Ivoire’s all-time leader in goals scored in international matches and was voted African Footballer of the Year twice.

Drogba was taken to France at the age of five to be cared for by an uncle who was a professional player. He came home after three years, only to return to France after three more years in Côte d’Ivoire.

Drogba began his career as an apprentice with second-tier Levallois outside of Paris at the age of 15, and in 1997-98 he went to Le Mans FC, where he signed as a professional in his second season.

Drogba joined top-tier Guingamp in January 2002, scoring 17 goals in 34 league appearances. This success led to a 2003 transfer to Olympique de Marseille, where he scored 19 goals in 35 domestic matches and an extra 11 goals in European play as the team advanced to the 2004 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cup final, where it was defeated 2-0 by Valencia of Spain.
Drogba joined Chelsea FC in a trade from Marseille in 2004. The next season, Chelsea won its first Premier League title in 50 years, but its new center-forward proved erratic. Drogba was swift, attentive, and completely confident in his own abilities, despite a tendency to lose his anger during matches.

Even in his second season, when Chelsea successfully defended their title, fan reaction was modest. However, at the end of the 2006-07 season, when Chelsea failed to win a third consecutive league title, Drogba had won over the majority of Chelsea’s skeptics by being the league’s top scorer (with 20 goals) and finished the season with an overall record of 33 goals.

  • Didier Drogba Biography
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In addition, he was instrumental in Chelsea winning both the Football Association (FA) Cup and the Carling Cup that season, scoring the club’s lone goals in both finals.

Drogba guided Chelsea reach the 2008 Champions League final, when he slapped an opposition player and was sent off in a match that Chelsea ultimately lost by one penalty kick to Manchester United. In 2009, he received some forgiveness as Chelsea won its second FA Cup with Drogba on the team.
The next season, Chelsea won both the FA Cup and the Premier League, with Drogba leading the league with 29 goals. In the 2012 Champions League final, he scored Chelsea’s lone regulation goal as well as the winning extra-time penalty kick, helping the club defeat Bayern Munich and earn its first European club championship.

Drogba signed with the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in the next off-season, however he only played 11 games with the squad before returning to European football as a member of Istanbul’s Galatasaray SK in January 2013. In his debut season at Galatasaray, he helped the team win the Turkish first division championship. He returned to Chelsea on a one-year deal in July 2014. He joined with the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer in North America the following year. In 2017, he became a player and part owner of the Phoenix Rising of the United Soccer League’s second division. However, he retired from competitive play the next year.

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Drogba made his international debut for Côte d’Ivoire

Didier Drogba Biography

Drogba made his international debut for Côte d’Ivoire in 2002. In 2006, he led Côte d’Ivoire to the African Cup of Nations final, where they were defeated on penalties by Egypt. Drogba’s success in the 2006 World Cup qualifying matches was crucial to his receiving the African Footballer of the Year title that year, as his nine goals in eight preliminary matches put the Ivorians into the World Cup for the first time. Drogba guided Côte d’Ivoire to fourth place in the 2008 Cup of Nations, and the team qualified for its second World Cup in a row in 2010.

In 2012, he captained his country to a Cup of Nations runner-up finish and helped Côte d’Ivoire qualify for the 2014 World Cup, where his team, Les Éléphants, narrowly missed advancing to the tournament’s knockout stage for the first time by conceding a stoppage-time penalty kick in its final group-stage match. Soon after, Drogba declared his retirement from international football.

Drogba’s home Côte d’Ivoire experienced civil conflict in 2011 as a result of a disputed presidential election, and in the aftermath, Drogba was named to an 11-member truth and reconciliation panel formed to heal the country’s schism. In 2014, the panel issued its final report.

Didier Drogba Foundation

Didier Drogba Biography
Drogba was interested in charitable projects and formed the Didier Drogba Foundation in 2007.

The Foundation’s primary mission is to facilitate acces to vulnerable population’s health, education and contribute to empowering through resource mobilization, partnership development and innovative projects.

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Seven years ago in 2010, Didier Drogba wanted to deepen the services offered by the Foundation. For this, a dream is about to be born: to build a hospital. Opening a hospital is a beautiful project, but it must go through several stages to succeed. The African continent and its inhabitants too often witness the construction of hospitals that do not meet the needs of the population.

Didier Drogba Biography

The Foundation has decided to adopt an effective hospital model: the hospital must meet the needs of the population and that it can function autonomously. This relatively long process requires great efforts of organization and study of the needs of the population. We did not want to double the health services offered by the government or by other NGOs. After a needs analysis and numerous discussions with the local authorities, we were able to determine which specialties and services will be offered by our hospital.


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