European Soccer

Drogba confirms Chelsea departure

DrogbaBye (Getty Images)

Didier Drogba will forever be remembered by Chelsea fans for his heroic performance which helped the club lift their first UEFA Champions League trophy, especially since it will be his final contribution for the team.

The 34-year-old Drogba confirmed that he will leave the club when his contract expires next month. Drogba has not said where his next destination will be, but he has been heavily linked to joining former Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Ivory Coast international is coming off a big performance in the Champions League final. Drogba saved Chelsea from defeat minutes before the end of regulation with a thunderous header, and he also converted the winning spot kick in the ensuing penalty shootout to give Chelsea European glory.

"I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea," Drogba said in a statement on Tuesday. "It has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but I am very proud of what we have achieved. As a team we have accomplished so much, and have won every single trophy possible. Saturday was a very special moment for everyone at the club and for all the fans, and I am very proud to have played my part in bringing many trophies to this club which has been my home for the last eight years."

What do you think of Drogba leaving Chelsea? How will you look back on his time with the club? Would you like to see an MLS team make a run for him? Whom do you think Chelsea should go after to replace him? Disappointed he won't be taking part in the MLS All-Star Game?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Conrad

    PS: Kidding. But before your head explodes, it’s worth noting that Demps was WAY ahead of Didier in goals scored. So, in fact, was Daniel Sturridge (and HE would KILL in MLS). I know he was injured; I know he was subbed in the first part of the season.


  • Michael

    Right! As I said, not saying it would happen, but it would be fun to watch. Translation: In a fictional universe where the Quakes were in a good market and had an owner to spend DP levels of money, this would be fun to watch. Read the entire post before commenting.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    No, really if I were him, I would not. He’s already made millions, he doesn’t need the money. And he can go somewhere with less that 230,000ppm dirt in the air and still make a very tidy paycheck.


  • XPK

    It is likely that Chelsea had such a great late season run because several of the older players involved in the run were less tired/injured from having not started/played as many games during most of the season.


  • pd

    Sadly the money “saved” from LeToux and Mondragon and Califf would pay for about… i’d say 37 minutes of playing time for Drogba…


  • Michael M

    He seems like one of the few players with the athletic prowess to draw respect and possibly attention from the general US sports audience. In that regard, he would be well worth the money it would take to bring him to the MLS.


  • Michael K in San Diego

    Soccer *is* a business. These guys (and gals) playing the game for pay go to work just like most of us, and when they ‘change jobs,’ they want to earn as much as they can, especially when their window of peak earning is so short. I certainly don’t begrudge them their payday, wherever it is (i also would like to see more world-class players here in North America). I do applaud MLS somewhat for holding the line on salaries, but the lowest salaries really need to be boosted!


  • RLW2020

    if i was building a team for the long run, id take Demps over Drogba. In 3-5 years Demps would still be top of his game and Drogba would be retired. the only issue is Drogba doesn’t come with a transfer fee while Demps will cost any club somewhere around $10mil this summer.


  • jon

    one of the greatest pure target forwards ever to play the game. maybe the best i’ve seen. it would suck if he dissappeared into china. he’s such a beast of a player, i think he’d capture the imagination in the US. I hope some MLS teams are at least in the hunt..


  • g-dub

    1. Drogba effect could be the new Beckham effect. (BTW – the Beckham effect worked.)

    2. The only possible way is by a deep pockets owner in a big market, with a deal sweetening assist by MLS and/or other sponsorship entities.

    3. Unfortunately the timing is off. If the new NY team was ready to join MLS Drogba would have been perfect. (NY is the world headquarters for international aide.)

    4. Longshot possibilities: NYRB, LA, Montreal (Francais), Seattle (Drogba could sell a few Xboxes).


  • Peahead

    Hopper, you are a fool. You no nothing about the game, and you are a big dope. You are wrong.


  • Peahead

    No, Hopper is wrong. You are such an idiot!!!! My God, learn to read!!!


  • Ben

    What exactly does “learning to read” have anything to do with him being wrong? Where did he go wrong? Offer some insightful comments please…


  • Stracho

    Also a Union fan, but its less about the allocation money (he would count less against the cap this year than Califf alone since its mid-season) and more about the value he would add to the franchise. Philly market has a ton of growth potential as shown by last years tv ratings; this is one of the reasons we are hosting Chelsea in the allstar game. Addition of Drogba would add more to the bottom line in Philly since there is absolutely zero star power on the team whereas NY and LA have their big names. Lack of attention this year to the Union reminds me of the void in the Sixers attendance after Iverson left. Philly sports market needs a star to keep growing and there is plenty of potential to pay back the investment.

    Also here is a Q&A with Drogba back in 2006: “Q: You and Chelsea have come to the United States the past two summers. Have you enjoyed those trips?

    A: What I really like about the States is that it is a very different culture. Who knows, maybe after my career I will go there to try something. In terms of football, I think it has improved a lot since the first time I was there four years ago. I like this team D.C. United. They are good and strong. And that young boy [Freddy] Adu is very good. (Adu was traded by D.C. United to Real Salt Lake earlier this week).”

    And yes Nowak was the coach in D.C. in 2006. Sort of makes you wonder if the allstar game was set up for a reason. League could really get a boost with bigger NY/NJ/PA interest. Maybe it leads to NY finally getting that 2nd team.


  • Gon Darber

    Drogba showed he can be a top 10 player in the world when he’s really motivated – even at 34.


  • HansomeJake

    When’s the last time Drogba scored more goals than Clint? 2010, two season’s have passed and the only reason people are chatting about Drogba is because Chelsea is good enough to make it to the Champions league final without him. What can Fulham do without Clint? Drogba’s far behind Clint.
    And where else do you get 23 goals for 10 million pounds?


  • Johnny Ramone

    Drogba is gping to Toronto Footy Culture! He’s impressed by their fans!


  • yee

    Drogba is behind dempsey…..LOL. I’m as big a Dempsey fan as anyone, but I don’t see him scoring gamewinners against Barca, or winning the champions league


  • DRazor

    Send Keane and Beckham packing and replace them with Drogba and Lampard!


  • The Imperative Voice

    We have a blank check rule, ie, DP, that theoretically makes the sky the limit and the cap impact modest. So this is not “business” vs. MLS. We can make a decent offer if not Qatari or Chinese money.

    Which gets me to part B. We can also offer a legitimate soccer competition. All due respect to “soccer is business” but only in the corrupt sense can a dollar score a goal. At bottom to me it is a sport, played generally by people who like that sport. To a player like Henry who likes the USA, and doesn’t require an absolute max offer, we can offer a serious league to finish your career in, relatively safe, etc.

    Also, I don’t think jocks have to be pure profit maximizers, some would rather retire a “Man U guy” than play somewhere else two years, some would rather give a little on money to play competitive ball — how much money do they need? at some point they are pretty set and might have other, more aesthetic concerns — and some might want to avoid the “mercenary” label that comes with going to one of the pure money leagues like Qatar.

    I can’t believe a serious league, playing with Henry, decent money, etc., would be outweighed by, say, China, Anelka, and a bag of money. Among other things, if he plays here, I don’t think that means international retirement per se, we are sufficiently respected. But if he heads off to China or Qatar like the Ghanaian or Anelka you can stick a fork in his Ivory Coast career.


  • The Imperative Voice

    PSG just got beat by Montpelier.

    Plus, he’s done the French thing before at his career’s start. Why not try something different?

    I don’t believe Juve will risk momentum on Drogba.


  • Mig22

    He has been my favorite player for years and his performances late in the season were some of my fondest memories of any sporting event…ever.

    That said, it is time for him to go at 34. Chelsea need to evolve now (and get rid of POS#26). Let him cash a monster check in China, Russia, or the Middle East for a season or two. But he will be missed.


  • Peahead

    I am a fool. I no nothing about the game, and I am a big dope. I are wrong.


  • soccerroo

    I believe that GSScasual was refering to the post about him being on the Revs.


  • Helium-3

    Anelka will be leaving China as his team is undermining his role, and they are in last place. Recipe for termination.

    Thus most likely Drogba will be coming to MLS if they are able to give him $6 – $10 M USD. Is he worth it, hell yes.


  • CK1

    Cote d’Ivoire will play him no matter what. He’s a national hero there. He could play in the Antarctican league and still be CIV’s captain.


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