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Didier Drogba announces retirement plans

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Vancouver Whitecaps II v Phoenix Rising FC Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

In an exclusive scoop to RMC’s Team Duga podcast, world football legend Didier Drogba has revealed his plans to retire at the end of next season — i.e. at the end of the 2018 USL season, after finishing his second season as player-part-owner for Phoenix Rising FC in Phoenix, Arizona. Fittingly, that will be exactly 20 years after he made his professional debut for Le Mans.

Last year, Drogba scored 9 goals in just 14 games for Phoenix while missing a good chunk of the season due to a groin injury. The team were unfortunately eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in a penalty shootout after a Drogba goal — it was a big game, so of course Didier scored — saw them finish 1-1 in regulation and extra-time.

"I think next year will be my last season. At some point you have to stop. I need to have some time for my other projects. Playing is good, but at 39, it slows me a bit.”

-Didier Drogba; source: RMC

His mention of “other projects” will undoubtedly lead to another round of Chelsea non-playing role rumors (especially with the technical director position open at the moment), but it’s generally understood that first and foremost Drogba will to stay involved in running the Phoenix franchise in an executive role as they bid to become an MLS expansion team in the near future.