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Team Captain Profile: Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba

Team Captain Profile: Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba is one of Ivory Coast’s frontlines that polish the Ivorian brand of football. The most prolific (and most expensive) center forward of his generation, the Abidjan native is sought by many clubs from abroad for his brilliant theatrics and acrobatics in the pitch. However, he also has a fair share of criticisms from his spectators. His temperamental style of play often falls under public and professional scrutiny.

 

His move to France from his natal country proved to be a very good decision. His seeding with Guingamp’s league matches fuelled his rise to fame, with 17 goals he netted in his maiden season. He then moved to Marseille and scored a personal record of 19 goals from 35 appearances.

 

France was not only the only nation to perceive Drogba’s potential as a football superstar. England also fought to sign him in its local clubs, particularly Chelsea. In 2004, Jose Mourinho saw the zealous drive in Drogba that he encouraged the club’s management to sign him even if it meant paying the player for a record sum of £24 million. The risk paid off as Tito remarkably delivered in the seasons when he was part of the ensemble. He co-helped Chelsea win the Premier League for two consecutive years. In the 2009-10 term, he scored 29 league goals to send Mourinho’s club to victory again.

 

While having a magnificent career with Chelsea—including bagging a Champions League trophy and an FA Cup triumph—Drogba sought to follow Nicolas Anelka to China and embarked on a brand new career with Asian giants Shanghai Shenhua. During this stint, he was reportedly earning approximately £200,000 per week. He is currently part of the Turkish club Galatasaray, where he became the very first African player to earn the Golden Foot award.

 

As Ivory Coast’s captain, Drogba has been with the team since 2002. He is the nation’s all-time top goalscorer and remains a major force of the squad. He was a staple in the national team’s 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, their debut in the esteemed competition. He was also responsible for Les Éléphants’ berth in the 2010 edition. For the FIFA World Cup 2014, he scored four goals which, along with Salomon Kalau’s five and Wilfried Bony’s three, were vital to the team’s third consecutive appearance in the tournament.

 

Image source: telegraph.co.uk

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