King Didier Drogba was back in Marseille last night to take part in the “Match for Heroes” charity game, organized by his former club and benefitting both UNICEF and Drogba’s own foundation. And The Big Man for the Big Occassion of course put on an absolute show, scoring no fewer than three times to lead Olympique Marseille Legends to a 7-4 victory over Arsène Wenger’s “Team UNICEF”. Death, taxes, Drogba scoring against Arsène’s team.
While the result was obviously secondary, Drogba celebrated his goals in iconic style, and that never gets old. Yes, there was plenty of arm-pumping, knee-sliding, hand-waving, and saluting goodness. Nostalgia is a cheap drug, but inject this into my veins please.
As if that wasn’t enough, the match featured a whole host of Chelsea and world footballing legends, including two of our greatest defenders of all time, and two of my absolute favoritest of favorite players, Ricardo Carvalho (who played for Team UNICEF) and Marcel Desailly — both of whom still looked in good enough shape to suit up, just like Didier. (Samir Nasri, not so much.)
When I was a lot younger, back in the early ‘90s, Marseille were one of the biggest European powers, and seeing some of those names brought back more nostalgic endorphins hits — the likes of Jean-Pierre Papin (coaching), Basile Boli, and of course the aforementioned Desailly. Sadly, no Fabien Barthez or Alen Bokšić or Abedi Pele or Didier Deschamps, though he has a good excuse in the middle of an international break.
The event raised nearly half a million Euro, so well done all!
427250 euros récoltés grace à pour @UNICEF_france et la fondation @didierdrogba à l'occasion du #MatchDesHéros— Orange Vélodrome (@orangevelodrome) October 13, 2021
Il vous est également possible de faire un don en ligne https://t.co/nMrzOzV4qI pic.twitter.com/q0tF18xgqm
Here’s as full a list of participants as I could find, including a whole bunch of local celebrities.
OM Legends (4-3-3):
Pascal Olmeta | Taye Taiwo, Daniel van Buyten, Basile Boli, Habib Beye | JUL (rapper), Robert Pirès, Samir Nasri | Fabrizio Ravanelli, Didier DROGBA, Djibril Cissé
Substitutes from: Yohann Pelé, Eric Di Méco, Marcel DESAILLY, Benôit Cheyrou, Mamadou Niang, Frédéric Déhu, Rod Fanni, Toifilou Maoulida, Lorik Cana, Mathieu Flamini, Jacques Abardonado, Caroline Pizzala (from OM Féminin), Naps (rapper), SCH (rapper), Bengous (comedian), Alonzo (rapper), Soso Maness (rapper), Redouane Bougheraba (actor), Ichem Bougheraba (actor), Hakim Bougheraba (director), Baptiste Giabiconi (model), Benoît Paire (tennis)
Team UNICEF (4-2-3-1):
Jens Lehmann | Eric Abidal, Teddy Riner (judoka), Ricardo CARVALHO, Christian Karembeu | Esteban Cambiasso, Gaizka Mendieta | Matt Pokora (singer), Tony Parker (basketball), Patrick Kluivert | David Trezeguet
Substitutes from: Ludovic Giuly, Sonny Anderson, Sidney Govou, Laure Boulleau (PSG Féminin legend), Alizé Lim (tennis), Laury Thilleman (Miss France 2011), Pierre Gasly (Formula 1), Kev Adams (comedian), Hakim Jemili (comedian), Smaïl Bouabdellah (TV presenter), Martin Solveig (DJ), Richard Orlinski (artist), Roméo Elvis (rapper), Sneazzy (
smurf rapper), Kungs (DJ), Jok’Air (rapper), Djimo (actor)