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Didier Drogba to receive UEFA President’s Award for excellence on and off the pitch

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King

ICOAST-FBL-AFR-CIV Photo by SIA KAMBOU/AFP via Getty Images

The 2020-21 Champions League group stage draw is on Thursday, and as part of the occasion, UEFA will also give out this year’s UEFA President’s Award to none other than Didier Drogba, Chelsea and world football legend.

Drogba has been picked for his “commitment to excellence both on and off the pitch”, which shouldn’t come as news to anyone who’s been paying attention to his career not only during his playing days but since his retirement.

UEFA highlight the work of Drogba’s foundation — providing medical and educational resources back in Côte d’Ivoire — as well as his famous role in helping halt a civil war back in his home country. UEFA also confirm that Drogba’s currently enrolled in the UEFA Executive Master for International Players programme, which is a key step towards a future administrative role in the top levels of football organizations and associations.

(Meanwhile, Drogba’s bid to become the president of the Côte d’Ivoire football federation has become part of a giant mess, that may or may not be resolved soon.)

In any case, congrats to Didier. Obviously more than well deserved!

“Didier is a hero to millions of football fans for his achievements throughout his glittering playing career. He is a leader – a pioneer. I will remember him as a player for his skill, strength and intelligence, but above all for his insatiable appetite to succeed – a trait which is just as present in his desire to help others off the field of play.

“The UEFA Champions League has become the greatest club competition in the world, partly due to our clubs being able to attract the best players from around the world. We have been lucky to have seen the likes of George Weah, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba play at the very highest level. They in turn, have blazed a trail for African footballers and have given inspiration to a whole new generation who look to follow in their footsteps.”

-Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president; source: UEFA