Former Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba has confirmed that he will be retiring from association football at the end of the current season. The marksman celebrated his 40th birthday last weekend, and during the occasion, he confirmed his plans to step down from his playing role with Phoenix Rising at end of the season. Speaking to Telefoot, he said: “It’s really a pleasure for me to play. I started late at the top level. I really enjoy playing – I like my role of owner-player a lot. I’m surrounded by a lot of youngsters, and I like passing my know-how on to them. But this season is the last. I’m 40, it’s time now.”
Despite spending most of his early career in France, the veteran is most fondly known for his spell with Chelsea. The west Londoners had been taken over Roman Abramovich during the summer of 2013, and shortly after the Ivorian was integrated into the first-team squad. The marksman secured three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups between 2004 and 2012, and he happened to return for a second stint during the 2014/15 season, where he claimed further success in the form of a fourth English crown alongside another League Cup.
The Blues have also been touted as a possible future destination for Drogba with the technical director role still up for grabs, and it will be interesting to see how his career paves outside of the playing field.