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'Chelsea's cult hero' - How did Didier Drogba perform in his club career?

10:43 AM MYT 09/05/2022
Didier Drogba Chelsea
The Ivory Coast international won four Premier League titles and a Champions League among many accolades at Chelsea...

Didier Drogba, a pioneer of African football, was one of the most prominent footbaling faces from the region in Europe.

The legendary Ivory Coast international was an integral part of the renaissance of Chelsea Football Club under Roman Abramovich in the early 21st century. 

He is arguably the greatest footballer in the history of Ivory Coast and is regarded as a legendary figure at Stamford Bridge.

When did Didier Drogba make his professional debut?

A product of French club Le Mans’ youth system, the striker was promoted to their senior side during the 1998/99 season but due to injuries, he missed the majority of his maiden campaign as a senior professional. Drogba made his debut on May 22, 1999, in a Ligue 2 clash against Cannes where he came on as a substitute in the final 15 minutes of the match.

Club

Season

Matches

Goals

Titles

Le Mans

1998/99

2

0

-

How did Didier Drogba perform in Ligue 1?

During the January window of the 2001/02 season, Ligue 1 side Guingamp FC signed the forward from Le Mans for £80,000. He made his top-tier debut on January 30, 2002, when he featured in the Guingamp starting lineup against FC Metz. Drogba scored a goal in his very first Ligue 1 appearance as his team won the tie 4-2. 

He went on to appear in 80 Ligue 1 games for Guingamp and Marseille where scored 39 goals. 

Club

Season

Matches

Goals

Titles

Guingamp

2001/02

11

3

-

Guingamp

2002/03

39

21

-

Marseille

2003/04

55

32

-

How did Didier Drogba perform at Chelsea?

Drogba joined Chelsea in July 2004 for a transfer fee of £24 million from Marseille and made his debut in the Premier League against Manchester United. He provided the assist for Eidur Gudjohnsen’s goal which helped the Blues clinch the tie. He went to score 10 Premier League goals in 24 appearances in his maiden season in England.

The legendary forward went on to represent Chelsea in 226 Premier League matches and 341 overall in the next seven seasons where he scored 157 goals in total and 100 goals in the Premier League. He won the league title thrice and was awarded the golden boot in the 2009/10 season where he scored 29 league goals in 32 ties. 

He was also instrumental in scoring the all-important goal in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in the dying moments of the match which kept Chelsea in the game and eventually played a crucial role in them bagging the trophy for the first time in history.

In 2012, Drogba parted way with the club only to return in 2014 when he signed a one-year contract with the club. The final season at Chelsea saw him getting only 852 minutes of game time in the entire Premier League season where he scored only four goals. But he did manage to win one final league title before ending his ties with Chelsea for good.

Club

Season

Matches

Goals

Titles

2004/05

41

16

Premier League (1), League Cup (1)

2005/06

41

16

Premier League (1), Community Shield (1)

Chelsea

2006/07

60

33

League Cup (1)

Chelsea

2007/08

32

15

-

Chelsea

2008/09

42

14

FA Cup (1)

Chelsea

2009/10

44

37

Premier League (1), Community Shield (1), FA Cup (1)

Chelsea

2010/11

46

13

-

Chelsea

2011/12

35

13

FA Cup (1), Champions League (1)

Chelsea

2014/17

40

7

Premier League (1), League Cup (1)

Didier Drogba’s stints in China, Turkey and USA

After his first stint at Chelsea, Drogba headed to the Chinese Super League and joined Shanghai Shenhua in 2012 but after spending just six months in China, the attacker decided to jump ship and join Galatasaray after receiving an offer from the Turkish giants in January 2013.

With Galatasaray, Drogna won a Super Lig, a Turkish Cup and a Turkish Super Cup titles in the one-and-half season he spent at the club.

After leaving Chelsea again in 2015, he spent the last three seasons of his professional career in the US, two years at Montreal Impact and the final year at Phoenix Rising where he won the Western Conference (USL) title.

Club

Season

Matches

Goals

Titles

2012/13

Shanghai Shenhua

11

8

-

2012/13

Galatasaray

17

6

Super Lig (1)

2013/14

Galatasaray

36

14

Turkish Cup (1), Tukish Super Cup (1)

2015/16

Montreal Impact

14

12

-

2016/17

Montreal Impact

27

11

-

2017/18

Phoenix Rising

14

10

Western Conference League (1)

2018/19

Phoenix Rising

12

7