The record will show that Demba Ba played for Chelsea for 18 months, scoring 14 goals in 51 appearances. We paid £7m in January 2013 to Newcastle, and collected €6m from Besiktas in June 2014. He won* zero trophies.
(*NB. Chelsea won the 2013 Europa League, but Ba wasn’t eligible for the competition. We likely gave him one of the 40 winners’ medals though.)
Either way, the man is timeless, at least for a certain generation. Enshrined in song to unite all fanbases for being involved in perhaps the most hilarious moment of the last decade. Part of our Champions League lore for his last-minute #DareToDemba winner against PSG. Forever in our hearts for almost never scoring a goal without somehow ending up on the floor, usually while contorting his body into some awkward yet graceful shape — perhaps never better than against Manchester United.
He left seven years ago, went to Turkey, to China, back to Turkey, back to China, and back to Turkey, before turning up in Lugano for a few games this season and announcing his retirement on Monday. The first picture in his announcement has him in a Chelsea shirt.
“It is with a heart filled with gratefulness that I announce the end of my playing career.
“What a wonderful journey it has been. Beside all the sweat and tears I have faced, football has given me so many beautiful emotions. From the passion of the fans and the noise coming from the standas after every goals to the connection with the my teammates on and off the field, this will forever remain in my head and heart.
“I wanna thank everyone I’ve crossed path and helped me grow, every clubs and managements for given me an opportunity, the fans for their tremendous support and my family and friend for their unconditional love. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.
“Praise be to the almighty.”
Always in our hearts as well, Demba. Enjoy retirement!