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Drogba falls just short of USL Trophy in final match of legendary career

The 40-year-old legend of world football has now retired

The Best FIFA Football Awards - Green Carpet Arrivals Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

For the first time in five career USL playoff games, Didier Drogba failed to find the back of the net. Unfortunately, there will not be a next time.

In what is set to be the final match of his professional playing career, Didier Drogba’s Phoenix Rising FC fell just short of the title last night, losing 1-0 to Louisville City FC, who repeat as USL Champions. As the third seed in the Western Conference, Phoenix were not expected to make it this far, but there would be no true storybook ending.

Drogba had scored in the losing effort in last year’s Round of 16, before scoring in all three previous rounds this year. At times, it was still hard to tell that he’s now 40 years old and ready to begin what is sure to be an even more influential post-playing career, as an owner, influencer, ambassador, legend of the game.

Drogba’s relatively late-blooming career had taken him from the French second division to the very top of Europe, across three continents and two oceans, from the bright lights of West London to the obscurity of the American minor leagues. He’s adored everywhere he played, and most everywhere he hadn’t.

That career is now over, but in a way, he’s just getting started.

Thank you for everything, Didier.

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