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Didier Drogba
Côte d'Ivoire

  • Full name Didier Drogba
  • Birth date March 11, 1978
  • Birth place Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Current age 36 years 258 days
  • Height 6 ft 2 in
Didier Drogba
Profile

Undoubtedly one of the best centre forwards in the world, Drogba still manages to polarise opinion with his theatrical and temperamental style of play taking the shine off the powerful striker's incredible talent. Drogba moved from his native Ivory Coast to France in 1988, living with his uncle in order to pursue a career in football. He started his career at Dunkirk before moving to Abbeville, Levallois and Le Mans.

But it was after a move to Guingamp that he really began to catch the eye, netting 17 goals in their 2002-03 Ligue 1 campaign before signing for Marseille - where he scored 19 goals in 35 appearances during his one season there. Chelsea and Jose Mourinho then came knocking and smashed the British transfer record for a striker, paying £24 million for his services in 2004.

Drogba paid back the investment, scoring 16 goals in each of the next two seasons, helping Chelsea win back-to-back Premier League titles, before starring in 2009-10 with 29 league goals to secure another title. He saved the best for last, however, inspiring the most unlikely of fightbacks in the 2012 Champions League final as Chelsea denied Bayern Munich victory. Drogba scored the equaliser - his ninth goal in nine cup final appearances for Chelsea - before stepping up to slot home the winning penalty in the shoot-out, his last act in a Chelsea shirt before joining Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua.

Injuries have hampered him as he moves into the later stage of his career, but when he has been on form, there are few defenders who can stop his devastating style. Drogba made his international debut in 2002 and is now the Elephants leading all-time goalscorer and appeared at two World Cup finals.

Strengths: Aerial prowess and power; there are few players in the world as strong.

Weaknesses: Temperament, propensity to dive and over-exaggerate tackles and confrontations.

Career High: Winning the 2006 African Footballer of the Year award after helping Chelsea to win a second successive Premier League title and captaining the Elephants to their maiden World Cup finals.

Career Low: Being sent-off in the Champions League final against Manchester United in 2008 after slapping Nemanja Vidic.

Style: Robust, bustling centre forward who harasses his markers. But he is excellent with the ball on the deck and a strong finisher with the ability to use both feet.

Quotes: "For the last six years I was struggling and it was difficult sometimes. I had to miss some training sessions but I am really happy because it's done and it is really good for me. I learned how to play with it, and now maybe I will have to change my game again." Didier Drogba on his fitness, August 2010.

Trivia: He was nicknamed "Tito" by his mother, after president Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia.

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Sep 14, 2012

Didier Drogba arrives at the airport

May 20, 2012

Didier Drogba celebrates winning the Champions League during a parade

May 20, 2012

Chelsea parade the Champions League trophy

May 20, 2012

Roberto Di Matteo and Didier Drogba enjoy the celebrations

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