Didier Drogba has confirmed he will leave Chelsea next month when his contract expires in June. Many expect the Ivorian to join former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua in what is believed to be a mega money deal.
The Ivory Coast striker joined Chelsea in the summer of 2004 for a fee of £24 million from French side Olympique Marseille and was an instant success. The target man was an instant success netting 10 goals as Chelsea won the Premier League for the first time in the Ivorian’s first season at the club. Drogba also went on to win the League Cup in his debut season scoring an extra time winner against Liverpool.
Drogba’s Chelsea career continued to thrive, during the 2006/07 season Drogba scored 33 goals in all competitions, becoming the first blues player in 20 years to score over 30 goals in one season. That same season saw Drogba and the blues complete a domestic cup double as they won both the FA Cup and League Cup as Drogba joined Norman Whiteside and Mark Hughes in scoring in both finals within the same season.
Chelsea continued in their success and Drogba became Chelsea’s talisman as they went on to win the FA Cup on three occasions, the league title and then most recently the Champions League. Along the way Drogba became Chelsea’s fourth all time leading goal scorer making him Chelsea’s most prolific overseas striker.
The striker also became the first ever player to score in four different FA Cup finals with his goal against Liverpool at Wembley earlier this month. Drogba has become renowned for being a big game player and has proved his importance in big games scoring against the likes of Barcelona, Liverpool, Tottenham and Bayern Munich.
Drogba’s decision to leave Stamford Bridge is no surprise, the Ivorian has achieved everything he can at Chelsea and with retirement just around the corner the influential striker will be wanting to embark on a new challenge outside of English football.