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Didier Drogba

Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (; born 11 March 1978) is an Côte d'Ivoire association football who plays in the Forward (association football) position. Didier Drogba currently plays for Chelsea F.C. in the Premier League and is the captain and Top international association football goal scorers by country of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team. Didier Drogba has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's Chelsea F.C. statistics All-time Goalscorers.

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Didier Drogba biography


Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (; born 11 March 1978) is an Côte d'Ivoire association football who plays in the Forward (association football) position. Didier Drogba currently plays for Chelsea F.C. in the Premier League and is the captain and Top international association football goal scorers by country of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team. Didier Drogba has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's Chelsea F.C. statistics All-time Goalscorers.

After playing in youth teams, Drogba made Didier Drogba professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans Union Club 72. A late bloomer, Didier Drogba signed Didier Drogba first professional contract aged 21; it was not until the 2002–03 season that Didier Drogba realized Didier Drogba potential, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances in Ligue 1 for En Avant Guingamp. During the same season Didier Drogba made Didier Drogba first international appearance for Côte d'Ivoire, in September, and scored Didier Drogba first international goal the following February. Didier Drogba moved to Olympique de Marseille in 2003 for Pound sterling3.3 million. Didier Drogba scoring success at Olympique de Marseille continued, finishing as the third highest scorer in Ligue 1 with 19 goals and helped the club to reach the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.

Drogba moved to Chelsea F.C. the following season for a record breaking fee of £24 million, making Didier Drogba the most expensive Côte d'Ivoire player in history. In addition, Didier Drogba scored decisive goals in the 2005 Football League Cup Final and in the 2005 FA Community Shield and helped the club win their first ever 2004–05 FA Premier League title. Drogba came to prominence as one of the world's foremost strikers in 2006 as Didier Drogba won the 2005–06 FA Premier League with Chelsea again and captained the national team for the first time. In the 2006 World Cup Didier Drogba scored Côte d'Ivoire's first ever goal of the competition and Didier Drogba was chosen as the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. The next season Didier Drogba finished as top scorer in the FA Premier League 2006-07 with 20 goals and also scored the winning goals in the 2007 2007 Football League Cup Final and 2007 FA Cup Finals. Didier Drogba won the FA Cup for the second time in 2009, scoring the equalizer in the final. In the 2009–10 Premier League season Drogba proved instrumental in Chelsea winning their first The Double in the club's history. Didier Drogba won Didier Drogba second Premier League Golden Boot with 29 goals, and scored the only goal in Chelsea's victory over Portsmouth in the 2010 FA Cup Final. This goal makes Didier Drogba the only player to score in 6 English Cup finals.

Drogba is credited with playing a vital role in bringing peace to Didier Drogba country. After Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants, asking them to lay down their arms, a plea which was answered with a cease fire after 5 years of civil war. Drogba later helped move an African Cup of Nations qualifier to the rebel stronghold of Bouake; a move that helped confirm the peace process. Didier Drogba involvement in the peace process lead to Drogba being named as one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine.

Drogba also holds a France passport.

Early life

Didier Drogba was born in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and at the age of five was sent to France by Didier Drogba parents to live with Didier Drogba uncle, Michel Goba, a professional footballer. However, Drogba soon became homesick and returned to Abidjan after three years. Didier Drogba mother nicknamed Didier Drogba "Tito", after president Josip Broz Tito, whom she admired greatly. Didier Drogba played football every day in a car park in the city but Didier Drogba return to Côte d'Ivoire was short lived. Both of Didier Drogba parents lost their jobs and Didier Drogba again returned to live with Didier Drogba uncle. In 1991, Didier Drogba parents also traveled to France; first to Vannes and then settling in 1993 at Antony, Hauts-de-Seine in the Paris suburbs, at which point the 15-year-old Drogba returned to live with them and Didier Drogba siblings. It was here that Didier Drogba began playing team football more frequently, joining a local youth side. Drogba began Didier Drogba career as a junior player at the semi-professional club Levallois SC, gaining a reputation as a prolific scorer in the youth team and impressing the coach with Didier Drogba professional attitude. Didier Drogba performances earned Didier Drogba a place in the senior squad but despite scoring in Didier Drogba debut, the 18-year-old Ivorian failed to make an impression on Jacques Loncar, the first team coach.

Club career

Le Mans (1997–2002)

When Drogba finished school Didier Drogba switched cities to study accountancy at college and Didier Drogba had to change clubs, becoming an apprentice at Ligue 2 club Le Mans Union Club 72. However, Didier Drogba first two years there were marred by injuries and Didier Drogba was physically struggling to cope with the training and match schedule.

By age 21, Drogba realized that Didier Drogba had to establish himself as a player soon or else Didier Drogba would have little chance of becoming a professional footballer. Didier Drogba made Didier Drogba first team debut for Le Mans soon thereafter and signed Didier Drogba first professional contract in 1999. Drogba's personal life was also becoming more serious as Didier Drogba and Didier Drogba Malian wife Alla had their first child, Isaac. Didier Drogba grew into Didier Drogba new responsibilities, later stating: "Isaac's birth was a turning point in my life, it straightened me out".

Guingamp (2002–2003)

Halfway through the 2001–02 season Ligue 1 club En Avant Guingamp consolidated months of interest with a transfer offer and Drogba left Le Mans for a fee of £80,000. However, the next season Didier Drogba rewarded Didier Drogba coaches' patience, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances and helping Guingamp finish seventh, a record league finish. Drogba remains a club legend in Marseille, despite playing only one season for the club.

Chelsea (2004–present)

Signing for Chelsea in July 2004 for £24 million, Drogba scored in Didier Drogba third game for the club with a header against Crystal Palace F.C.. Didier Drogba season was interrupted when Didier Drogba pulled a stomach muscle against which kept Didier Drogba 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 Football League Cup, with Drogba scoring in extra time in a 3–2 final win against Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Drogba scored 16 goals in 40 games for Chelsea in Didier Drogba first season: 10 in the Premiership, five in the Champions League and one in the Football League Cup final.

Drogba started the 2005-06 in English football season by scoring two goals in a FA Community Shield win over Arsenal F.C.. Didier Drogba reputation was marred amidst accusations of cheating during Chelsea's 2–0 win over Manchester City F.C.. Replays showed that Didier Drogba had used Didier Drogba hand to control the ball before scoring the second of Didier Drogba two goals. This occurred just a week after a similar incident against Fulham where the goal was disallowed. In a post match interview with the BBC, Didier Drogba acknowledged that Didier Drogba had handled the ball and seemingly admitted to cheating, saying, "Sometimes I dive, sometimes I stand," before immediately retracting Didier Drogba comment: "I don't dive, I play my game".

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

After the departure of Damien Duff to Newcastle United F.C., Drogba switched from the number 15 shirt Didier Drogba had worn for Chelsea since 2004 to the number 11 shirt vacated by Duff. The season was a personal success for Drogba as Didier Drogba hit 33 goals in all competitions (more than Didier Drogba tally in the previous two seasons combined), including 20 in the Premier League to win the English football champions Premier League .281992.E2.80.93present.29. In doing so, Didier Drogba became the first Chelsea player since Kerry Dixon in 1984-85 in English football to reach 30 goals in a season. The breakdown of Didier Drogba 33 goals: 20 in the Premier League, six in the UEFA Champions League, three in the FA Cup and four in the Football League Cup.

Among the highlights were scoring winners from outside the penalty area against Liverpool F.C., Everton F.C. and FC Barcelona, a 93rd minute equaliser against Barcelona at the Camp Nou and both Chelsea's goals in their 2–1 Football League Cup Final 2007 win over Arsenal F.C.. Didier Drogba also completed two hat-tricks; one against Watford F.C. and the other against Levski Sofia in the Champions League, Chelsea's first hat-trick in UEFA competition since Gianluca Vialli in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1997-98. In Didier Drogba last competitive game that season, Didier Drogba scored the winning goal over Manchester United F.C. in the first FA Cup Final 2007 at the new Wembley Stadium. This also meant that Didier Drogba joined Norman Whiteside (Manchester United in 1983) and Mark Hughes (Manchester United in 1994) as players who have scored goals in both English domestic finals in the same year, 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 Touré. In March, Didier Drogba was named African Footballer of the Year for the first time, ahead of Samuel Eto'o and Chelsea teammate Michael Essien. Didier Drogba performances during the season saw Didier Drogba 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 end of the season as Didier Drogba transfer from Olympique de Marseille to Chelsea F.C. in July 2004 came under scrutiny. The 2006 allegations of corruption in English football Stevens report in June 2007 expressed concerns because of the lack of co-operation from agents Pinhas Zahavi and Barry Silkman.

2007–08

The 2007-08 in English football began badly for Drogba as Didier Drogba expressed doubts about the departure of manager José Mourinho. Didier Drogba was reportedly in tears when Mourinho told Didier Drogba Didier Drogba 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 FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C.F., A.C. Milan or F.C. Internazionale Milano as possible future destinations, Didier Drogba later admitted Didier Drogba regretted this and was 100% committed to Chelsea. Despite media speculation, Drogba's Penalty 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 FC, 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 in an interview.

On 30 April 2008 Drogba scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Liverpool F.C., which Chelsea F.C. won 3–2 at Stamford Bridge (stadium). 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 Didier Drogba scored putting Didier Drogba tally at 17, beating Peter Osgood's record of 16. Drogba was sent off in the 117th minute of the 2008 UEFA 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 Didier Drogba 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. Didier Drogba scored Didier Drogba first goal of the season in mid-November but there was little reason to celebrate: Didier Drogba 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 F.C.. Drogba scored Didier Drogba second goal of the season in a 2–1 victory against CFR Cluj in the UEFA Champions League, while Didier Drogba 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 Didier Drogba first team place and manager Scolari favoured playing Nicolas Anelka as a lone striker rather than pairing the two. However, Didier Drogba resolved to regain Didier Drogba 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 Didier Drogba rich goal-scoring form with four goals in five games after the new manager took over. Didier Drogba revival in form saw Didier Drogba net twice against Bolton Wanderers F.C., 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 Didier Drogba Champions League heroics, Drogba scored a late winner in the FA Cup semi-final match against Arsenal F.C. after Frank Lampard's superb pass found Drogba and Didier Drogba carefully rounded Arsenal goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański 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. Didier Drogba received a Penalty card 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 Didier Drogba 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. In the 2009 FA Cup Final Didier Drogba scored Chelsea's first and equalising goal as they went on to win 2–1. This was Didier Drogba sixth goal in a major cup final in England.
Although Drogba had previously expressed Didier Drogba desire to switch clubs, Didier Drogba 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 2009 FA Community Shield over Manchester United, before scoring twice in a 2–1 victory over Hull City A.F.C.. Drogba earned himself an assist when Didier Drogba was fouled in the area to give Chelsea a penalty, which Frank Lampard duly converted, in a 3–1 victory over Sunderland A.F.C.. In Chelsea's third game of the season against West (London sub region) rivals Fulham F.C., Drogba scored Didier Drogba third goal of the season. Drogba scored Didier Drogba fourth goal of the season, against Stoke City F.C; Chelsea ended winning the game 2–1 with a late strike from Florent Malouda. Didier Drogba added a fifth at home against London derbies Tottenham Hotspur F.C. on 20 September. Didier Drogba scored Didier Drogba 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 F.C. on 4 October. Didier Drogba assisted both goals, setting up Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda. Didier Drogba then scored a glancing header against Blackburn on 24 October 2009, bringing Didier Drogba tally to an impressive eight goals in eleven appearances, scoring Didier Drogba third goal in as many games. Drogba continued Didier Drogba fine form scoring a header against Bolton Wanderers in a 4–0 thrashing in the English League Cup, Drogba went on to score a fine team goal in the same week with another 4–0 win against Bolton Wanderers 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 Atlético Madrid. Didier Drogba scored two goals in the last ten minutes and the match ended 2–2. The latter being a fine solo effort in which Didier Drogba beat a number of the opposition players and had Didier Drogba first effort saved by the goalkeeper but then slotted in the rebound. On 29 November, Drogba scored a brace against London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, the second of which a free kick from outside the box. It brought Didier Drogba tally for the season to 14 goals in 16 games. On 12 December, Drogba continued to impress with 2 goals in 3–3 draw against Everton F.C..

Between 3 and 30 January Drogba was on Africa Cup of Nations duty and came back on 2 February against Hull City A.F.C. where Didier Drogba scored a 40th minute equaliser to tie the game 1–1. On 24 March, Drogba scored Didier Drogba 30th goal of the season in an away game against Portsmouth F.C..

On 9 May, Drogba inspired Chelsea to win the 2009–10 Premier League by scoring a hat-trick in an 8–0 win over Wigan Athletic. In doing so, Didier Drogba not only collected Didier Drogba third League winner's medal, but also won the Golden Boot for the season, Didier Drogba second time doing so, by topping the chart with 29 league goals, beating Wayne Rooney to the title who remained on 26 goals. Both players had the same number of goals (26) before the start of their respective fixtures. However, during the game, Drogba appeared to be clearly angry with team-mate and regular penalty taker Frank Lampard, after Lampard refused to let Drogba take a penalty which would lead Chelsea to go 2–0 up and give Didier Drogba a chance of winning the golden boot. Lampard scored the penalty, but Drogba did not celebrate with Didier Drogba team-mates. Later on in the game though Ashley Cole was tripped in the box when Chelsea were already 5–0 up, and this time Lampard allowed Drogba to take the penalty, which Didier Drogba scored to go two goals clear of Rooney.

2010–11

Drogba came on as a sub for Anelka against Manchester United F.C. in the 2010 FA Community Shield, but could not help prevent Chelsea from succumbing to a 3–1 loss. However, Didier Drogba started the Premier League season in fine form, continuing from where Didier Drogba left off on the last day of the previous campaign as Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion in a 6–0 victory. In Chelsea's next game against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, Drogba made three assists in another 6–0 win. Drogba also played the next game at home against Stoke City F.C. where Didier Drogba played the whole 90 minutes and scored Didier Drogba fourth goal of the Premier League season when Didier Drogba smashed home a penalty after Nicolas Anelka was brought down by Thomas Sørensen inside the box. On 7 November 2010, Drogba missed the first half of Chelsea's 2–0 defeat by Liverpool FC. It was later revealed that Didier Drogba had been suffering from Malaria for at least a month. Didier Drogba had first complained of feeling unwell before the October 2010 international break but the illness was only diagnosed on 8 November 2010. Having diagnosed the problem, Chelsea insisted that Didier Drogba would make a full recovery within days.
After Fernando Torres arrived Didier Drogba has struggled to be in the starting line up and many clubs have been interested such as Marseille F.C and Galatasaray F.K.

International career

Drogba is a Côte d'Ivoire national football team international and helped the team qualify for its first ever Football World Cup, held in 2006 FIFA World Cup. Didier Drogba first cap came on 8 September 2002 against South Africa and Didier Drogba scored Didier Drogba first goal with "The Elephants" on 11 February 2003 against Cameroon in a 3–0 victory.

In February 2006, Drogba captained Côte d'Ivoire to their second African Nations Cup final, scoring the only goal in their semi-final match with Nigeria national football team and putting away the deciding spot-kick in their record-tying 12–11 penalty shootout quarter-final win over Cameroon national football team. However, they lost in the final to Egypt national football team 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 national football team, the Netherlands national football team and Argentina national football team. On 11 June 2006, Drogba scored the first FIFA World Cup goal of Didier Drogba career and of Didier Drogba country's history in the opening game against Argentina, but Didier Drogba team lost.
Côte d'Ivoire were eliminated from the World Cup after their next game, a 1–2 defeat to the Netherlands, 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.

In the 2008 Africa 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. 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 Drogba and 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.

Didier Drogba scored 6 goals in 5 qualification games to helped the Côte d'Ivoire qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations Drogba scored one goal in the 3–1 victory against Ghana national football team in the group stage. Côte d'Ivoire reached the quarter finals but lost 2–3 to Algeria national football team.

In March 2010, Didier Drogba was named as the 2009 African Footballer of the Year, Didier Drogba second time winning the award in Didier Drogba career.

On 4 June 2010, Drogba was injured in a friendly match with Japan national football team. Didier Drogba received the injury in a high challenge from defender Marcus Túlio Tanaka. Didier Drogba fractured Didier Drogba ulna in Didier Drogba right arm and had an operation the next day in the hope of making the finals. On 15 June 2010, Drogba was cleared by FIFA to play in the Côte d'Ivoire's first group game against Portugal national football team wearing a protective cast on Didier Drogba broken arm. The match ended in a goalless draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with Drogba coming on in the 65th minute. On 20 June 2010, Drogba became the first player from an African nation to score against Brazil national football team in a FIFA World Cup match, scoring with a header in the 78th minute as the Côte d'Ivoire were defeated 1–3. On 25 June 2010, the Côte d'Ivoire went out of the competition despite winning 3–0 against Korea DPR national football team in their final match.

Personal life

Drogba is married to Diakité Lalla, a Malian woman whom Didier Drogba met in Paris, and the couple have three children together. Didier Drogba wife is Muslim and Drogba is Roman Catholic. Didier Drogba eldest son, Isaac, was born in France in 1999. On 24 January 2007, Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassadors. The UNDP were impressed with Didier Drogba previous charity work and believed that Didier Drogba high profile would help raise awareness on African issues. Drogba's charity work continued when, in late 2009, Didier Drogba announced Didier Drogba would be donating the 3 million GBP signing on fee for Didier Drogba endorsement of Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in Didier Drogba hometown of Abidjan. This work was done through Drogba's recently created "Didier Drogba Foundation" and Chelsea F.C. 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."

On October 2010, Drogba's first amateur club Levallois Sporting Club named its stadium after the striker. The French club received a percentage of the £24 million fee paid by Chelsea to Marseille in 2004, which allowed the fourth-tier club to upgrade the facility to its present gleaming levels.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didier_Drogba

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