Didier Drogba was never one to go quietly into the night, and even though 2018 was supposed to be his last season as a professional player, after coming as close as possible to the USL Trophy without actually getting his hands on it — losing in the final with Phoenix Rising — for a minute, he certainly seemed to reconsider the decision he had made twelve months ago.
He even took to Twitter to respond to the retirement stories in the media with a classic clip from Wolf of Wall Street.
But, as it turns out, he is in fact leaving. He’s not going very far at all, but he is hanging up his boots, as he confirmed to the BBC.
“After 20 years, I have decided to put an end to my playing career. It’s the best way to end, helping some young talent to develop. To give something back to the game was the best way to finish as I have learned so much in the game.”
-Didier Drogba; source: BBC
As part-owner of Phoenix Rising FC, Drogba will continue to help develop the next generation of talent. But that’s just part of what’s on tap for him going forward, with a role as a Chelsea ambassador taking him to far corners of the world, while his foundation does great work back home in Côte d’Ivoire. And surely that’s just scratching the surface.
In a statement released on social media, Drogba thanks all the players, managers, teams, and fans who have helped him in his 20-year journey so far, but really, it is us who should be thanking him.
Thanks for everything, Didier! We can’t wait to see what’s next!