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Nicknamed the African king,Didier Drogba
is regarded as one of the best footballers inIvory Coast
history. The African legend was known for his powerful strength and incredible sharp-shooting. Alongside Samuel Eto'o and George Weah, he is always ranked among the three greatest African strikers.
Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Drogba made his professional debut at Le Mans when he was 18. At the end of the 2002-03 season, he moved to Olympique de Marseille, and with 19 goals, Drogba finished as the third-highest scorer, helping the club reach the 2004 UEFA Cup Final. His fine performances did not go unnoticed byChelsea
, who signed him for a £24 million fee, becoming the most expensive Ivorian player in history.
In his first season with the Blues, the African king helped them win their first league title in 50 years, and they defended the title the following season. Drogba won four Premier League titles, FA Cup on four occasions, three Football League Cups, two FA Community Shield titles, as well as one UEFA Champions League.
The legend left the Blues in 2012 and went on to play for Shanghai Shenhua, Galatasaray. He returned to Chelsea in 2014; after one season, he left the club to join Montreal Impact. Didier Drogba ended his career at Phoenix Rising in 2018. Stay tuned to read more about one of the greatest African footballers ever.
Let’s take a close look at Didier Drogba biography, which includes his career and personal life. In the following article, we will present you with all the detailed information Didier Drogba, one of the best footballers in Ivory Coast history.
Sportmob's article on
Didier Drogba biography
will start with some general information about Didier Drogba physical stats and football information.
Didier Drogba Bio
Didier Yves Drogba Tebily
The African King, The Drog, Tito
Professional Former Football Player
Didier Drogba Physical Stats
Didier Drogba Football Information
11 (at Chelsea)
Didier Drogba Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth:
11 March 1978
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
In this part of our article on Didier Drogba biography, we will review some facts about
Didier Drogba childhood
and family facts, from his early days to the time he became famous. Football fans know about the African King's skills, but few consider his bio, which is quite interesting.
Didier Drogba date of birth
is 11 March 1978 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and also
Didier Drogba nationality
His parents were local junior bankers, and the former footballer grew up in a native village. The economic situation of the Ivory Coast made thousands of Ivorians flee their country, andFrance
was the refugee destination for them. During his childhood, Drogba suffered from malnutrition, leading to limitations in his mental and physical growth.
When he was five, his parents (Albert and Clotilde Drogba) sent him to France to live with his uncle, Michel Goba, a professional football player who lived in France. Goba convinced Drogba's parents that their son would be more successful in France; however, Albert and Clotilde hated to see him go. His parents wanted him to focus on academics and not become a footballer like his uncle, but Goba sent little Didier to a football academy in France.
"Back in the days, being a pro footballer was not the same 25 years ago as it is now. Now, everyone if pushing their kids to become football players. But my dad was like, ‘No, it’s not a secure job. You get injured and you lose everything,'" said Drogba.
Soon he became homesick and returned to his country after three years. Once Drogba said, "I had to travel alone, I was only five. I remember having this thing hanging around my neck, a label saying what my name was, and the stewardess looking after me. It was very, very difficult. When I arrived in France, I cried every day. Not because I was in France - I could have been anywhere - but because I was so far, far away from my parents. I missed them so much."
His country was at the height of its economic collapse at the time of Drogba's return, so Albert and Clotilde could not afford his school expenses. The African footballer gave up school, training football with his friends. Drogba's parents lost their job when he was 11, and they sent him again to his uncle. Michel Goba enrolled him in a youth football club Levallois SP.
In this section of Sportmob's article of
Didier Drogba bio
, we will present you with Didier Drogba's profile includes his style of play, goal celebration, and reception. In 1999, Drogba began his professional career and made his debut for Le Mans. In the same year, the footballer and his wife welcomed their first son. Later he said, "Isaac's birth was a turning point in my life, it straightened me out."
In his debut season, he scored seven goals, but the following season Drogba lost his place on the team due to injury. In the 2001–02 season, the Ivorian footballer left Le Mans to join Guingamp for £80,000, making 11 appearances and scoring three goals for Guingamp. The following season, Drogba netted 17 goals in 34 appearances, helping Guingamp finish seventh, a record league finish. His extraordinary performances did not go unnoticed by Olympique de Marseille.
During his time at the French club, the striker achieved the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Player of the Year award. Later he said on his time in France: "I leaned a lot playing in France. The league here is very different. You learn to read the game better. It’s very tactical. I played the second division, and the first division, and that helped me when I went abroad and played for Chelsea."
In 2004 Didier Drogba moved to Chelsea for £24 million and scored his first goal againstCrystal Palace
. He helped the Blues its first Premier League championship in 50 years in his debut season, and they defended the title in his second season. By the end of the 2006-07 season, the Ivorian footballer became the league’s top scorer with 20 goals; however, the blues failed in its attempt to take a third consecutive league championship. He also helped the Blues win both the Football Association Cup and Carling Cup trophies that season, scoring Chelsea's only goals in the finals of those two tournaments.
The African King helped the London club in the 2008 Champions League final, but Drogba slappedManchester United
's player, getting sent off in a match that Chelsea ultimately lost to its rival. The Ivorian striker achieved three Premier League titles, FA Cup on four occasions, two Football League Cups, two FA Community Shield titles, as well as one UEFA Champions League during his spell at Chelsea.
The legend spent eight seasons with the English club and managed to score 157 goals for them in all seasons, becoming the first African player to score more than 100 goals in the Premier League. He left Chelsea in 2012 and joined Shanghai Shenhua, the Chinese Super League team. Tito spent one season with the Chinese club and joined Galatasaray for €4 million-plus basic wage of €4 million per season, €15,000 per match, and €2 million for the remaining 2012–13 Super Lig.
He helped the Turkish club win one Super Lig title, one Turkish Cup, as well as 2013 Turkish Cup. On 25 July 2014, the African goalscorer returned to the Blues on a free transfer. He said: "It was an easy decision. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho again. Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club, and it has always felt like home to me."
Also, Mourinho said on his transfer: "He's coming because he's one of the best strikers in Europe. I know his personality very well, and I know if he comes back he's not protected by history or what he's done for this club previously. He is coming with the mentality to make more history." In his second spell, Drogba managed to win one Premier League title as well as one Football League Cup. Then he moved to Montreal Impact, a Major League Soccer side and after two seasons, the Ivorian footballer joined Phoenix Rising FC, where he ended his career.
Drogba said about his retirement: "I never said that I wanted to get into management. After playing non-stop for 20 years, I need a break. I enjoy travelling, working with my foundation. So I’m enjoying what I’m doing now....the work with Ligue 1 as an ambassador." As a member of Ivory Costa's national side, the legend represented his country at three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014) and four Africa Cup of Nations (2006, 2010, 2012, 2014), scoring 65 goals in 105 appearances.
Undoubtedly, Didier Drogba is one of the greatest footballers of all time. The legend was known for his speed, ability in the air, physical strength, accurate strikes, powerful and ball retention. Tito often played as a center-forward due to his ability to hold up the ball with his back to goal. Dr. Ken Bray has described him as a specialist and says, "he really just passes the ball very hard.
He hits it [the ball] very straight and appears to hit the ball with a very powerful side-foot action, almost like the technique used in a side-foot pass. Drogba's style is about beating the goalkeeper with speed and depth." Due to his playing style, Drogba was one of the toughest strikers that defenders like Gerard Pique, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Carles Puyol, and Laurent Koscielny have had to face.
The African King will forever be remembered as one of the Blues' all-time great footballers. Yaya Toure, the other African legend, said about Drogba: "When I say I support Drogba, it’s also for the good of the country, to have a former player of his kind investing himself in Africa. Didier was my big brother, my captain. People talked a lot about us but we were always calm, wise. We know each other."
Also, in 2006 Jose Mourinho said: "Sometimes he is a player who does not get what he deserves. Drogba is a fighter. I am happy with him, and we are happy to have a professional like him. Players are not just about the skilful and beautiful ones who play for the stands. It is important to have players who fight for the team, work for the team – attack and defend. He is the kind of player I would say ‘With you I could go to every war.’ He is a very important player for us."
The strong striker, Didier Drogba, scored vital goals for Chelsea, but he didn't have any unique goal celebration and celebrated his goals differently.
Time to take a look at Didier Drogba's life outside of football, which includes his hobbies and favorite activities. The footballer activities outside football are travelling and swimming. The African footballer also plays Guitar.
In this part of Sportmob's article on Didier Drogba Biography, we will bring you fascinating information about his love life, dating history, and children. Stay tuned to read more on
Didier Drogba life story
Family, Children, and Relationships
When the former footballer was a teenager, he met a Malian woman, Lalla Diakite, in Paris. Two lovebirds got married in 2011. But who is Lalla Diakite? Lalla is a Muslim who was born in the Republic of Mali. Her father was a footballer in Mali, and she is the niece of Amadou Toumani Toure, a late Malian politician. In 2020, Didier and Lalla ended their 20-year-old marriage.
Their problem started when Tito was trying to become the president of the football association in Ivory Coast. In 2021 the former footballer announced their divorce to the public and said: "I don’t normally discuss my private life, but due to false media speculation, today I will confirm that sadly after 20 years together Lalla and I made the difficult decision to separate last year." The legend footballer has three children. His eldest son, born in 1991 in France, has played in the Chelsea academy system.
In 2009, Didier Drogba established his own charity, the Didier Drogba Foundation, for the benefit of the people of the Ivory Coast. Also, former Chelsea striker launched a school project for Ivory Coast's disadvantaged children. "I say to young people who want to become Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Yaya Toure... education is very important, it's this which is going to allow you to have a good career.
The best way to have an impact on the future of people is to educate them. Thanks to education, we avoid a lot of socio-ethnic problems. We learn tolerance and that avoids war," said Drogba. In the case of Didier Drogba religion, you might know that he is a Roman Catholic.
In 2016 Daily Mail claimed that out of £1.7million donated by sports stars, royalty, and businesspeople to the foundation, only £14,115 found is given to the children in Africa, the Chelsea legend was issuing legal proceedings.
Now is the time to review Didier Drogba's career on the club and international level.
The Ivorian striker played 686 times for eight clubs (Le Mans, Guingamp, Marseille, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua, Galatasaray, Montreal Impact, and Phoenix Rising), scoring 300 times and providing 126 assists for his teammates.
As a member of Ivory Costa national side, Didier Drogba 65 goals in 105 appearances that he made for his country.
The last part of our article on Didier Drogba bio is about his honors and achievements. The African legend won four Premier League titles, FA Cup on four occasions, three Football League Cups, two FA Community Shield titles, as well as one UEFA Champions League.
His notable individual achievements are Alan Hardaker Trophy in 2007, African Footballer of the Year (in 2006, and 2009), Barclays Spirit of the Game Award in 2015, Chelsea Players' Player of the Year in 2007, 2012 GQ Sportsman of the Year, Golden Foot in 2013, Premier League Golden Boot (two times), and 2013 Turkish Footballer of the Year.
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