Didier Drogba has announced today’s Premier League game against Sunderland will be his last as a Chelsea player.”I want to play for at least one more season and in order to play more football I feel I need to go to another club,” he told Chelsea’s website.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho re-signed the Ivorian in 2014 on a one-year deal after he left Galatasaray as a free agent.
The striker will go down as an all-time Blues great, not least for his contribution in Munich when we lifted the European Cup three years ago.
This season he returned to the club and, for the fourth time in his Chelsea career, won the Premier League. He also added a third League Cup winners’ medal to his extensive collection. His significant contribution has been felt both on and off the pitch.
Didier said: ‘I want to play for at least one more season and in order to play more football I feel I need to go to another club. All the fans know my love for Chelsea and I hope to be back here in the future in another role.’
The Ivorian first signed in the summer of 2004 and went on to enjoy eight hugely successful seasons, which included numerous cup semi-final and final goals and many other match-winning moments.
Following that magical night in Munich, when Didier equalised in the 88th minute and then slotted home the decisive Champions League-winning penalty, he left Stamford Bridge. He continued his career in China and then Turkey, before returning to Chelsea for a second spell under the manager who first brought him to the club, Jose Mourinho.
This season he has scored seven times. His first goal since returning, a coolly converted spot-kick against Maribor, sent the Stamford Bridge faithful wild with delight.
His powerful header at Old Trafford, which put us in the lead, displayed all the skill and big-game mentality that has for so long defined Didier as an attacking maestro.
In the dressing room, his experience and personality have been an inspiration to the whole squad.
With the Blues homing in on the title, Didier proved his worth – most notably at Leicester last month when he clinically equalised soon after the break to start an impressive second-half turnaround which put us within one win of the championship.
Four days later, when we beat Crystal Palace, Didier again led the line as Stamford Bridge celebrated becoming champions again for the first time in five years.
Everyone at Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Didier for his fantastic service and he is always welcome back to Stamford Bridge.