How much longer can Didier Drogba continue to make an impact?

At the ripe old age of 38, Didier Drogba is still banging in the goals for MLS side Montreal Impact. The Ivory Coast international has been there and done it all; winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cup triumphs and a maiden Champions League crown during his successful stint at Chelsea.

In addition, Drogba is now the Ivory Coast’s all-time leading scorer with 65 goals – an outstanding individual achievement. But now, he is focusing entirely on his club form as the previously unfancied Montreal Impact look to secure a first MLS Cup. Drogba retired from international football in 2014; a decision that has enabled the striker to stay fresh for the domestic campaign.

Time factor
Eventually, age will catch up with him – that is inevitable. However, he is showing no signs of fatigue just yet. Instead, Drogba looks hungry for success; and the former Chelsea star is still lethal inside the penalty area. The 38-year-old has scored ten goals in 20 appearances for the Impact this season and his form is a key reason for their competitive standing with just a few weeks of the regular season remaining.

Whether Montreal make the playoffs or not, Drogba has a huge decision to make in the coming weeks. Retirement is calling but the Ivory Coast legend could continue for at least one more year in some capacity – potentially as a player-manager. If he fancies a shot at management, he should remain in the United States to do his coaching badges; they have one of the best regimes in the business.

Some Impact fans rather naively expected Drogba to move to the MLS and follow in Robbie Keane’s footsteps. Keane, now 36, joined LA Galaxy in 2011 and the Republic of Ireland hero has scored 83 goals in 124 appearances for the franchise – an incredible record when all is said and done.

When Drogba arrived at Montreal, he was 37 years old. Without a doubt, he still has plenty to give but in a way, his contributions and influence on the training ground is just as crucial as his goals on the pitch. Drogba does a job but it was always unfair to expect the former Chelsea man to lead the line on a weekly basis; his days of bullying defenders are over.

Not ready to retire
The Ivory Coast man has had a very successful career but he isn’t ready to call it quits just yet – he still has one more season in him. Compared to most, Drogba keeps himself in great condition and that is why he is able to still churn out match-winning performances against some of the best defenders in the United States.

Yes, the MLS isn’t up to the same standard as the Premier League but that shouldn’t hinder Drogba’s legacy in any way, shape or form. In fact, many will respect him for taking the next step and challenging himself to continue playing in a professional division. When all is said and done, Drogba won’t be in that top bracket but will be remembered as a truly brilliant modern-day centre-forward.

Didier Drogba is at the tail-end of his career; we can all see that. However, don’t write him off just yet – he still has a trick or two up his sleeve. Whilst his pace has gone, Drogba plays to his strengths and uses his physicality to hold the ball up and bring team-mates into the attack. And if Montreal use him sparingly, there’s no reason why he cannot continue to make an impact for the next year or so.