Chelsea FC striker Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from international football today. The World Cup was rumored to be Drogba’s last involvement with the Ivory Coast national team but it was yet to be made official before today. Drogba is undoubtedly the greatest footballer to ever pull on the Ivory Coast shirt and he has inspired a generation of footballers in his native country and all over the world. He boasts a tremendous scoring record for the Elephants with 65 goals in 104 appearances and is the country’s all-time leading goalscorer.
This retirement is fantastic news for Chelsea fans who were worried about losing the striker to the 2015 African Cup of Nations which begins in January of 2015. They had previously lost for the tournament four times in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012. Ivory Coast is also usually a tournament favorite so it would mean losing Drogba for an extended period of time. Chelsea will still likely lose Mohamed Salah and John Obi Mikel but the club has far more depth in midfield than it does at the striker position. It also alleviates concerns of a fatigued Drogba being unable to help the club in the final stretch run at the end of the season.
Here is a message from Didier Drogba about this international retirement:
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) August 8, 2014
Drogba’s impact on the Ivory Coast has gone far beyond the pitch. Prior to the 2006 World Cup Drogba was credited with helping to bring peace to his country by pleading for a ceasefire in the civil war. He also pushed for a friendly in a rebel stronghold city to help ease tensions and unite the people of Ivory Coast behind the team. He has also made tremendous charitable contributions through the Didier Drogba foundation and has used sponsorship money to build hospitals and clinics. Drogba is a legend of the Ivory Coast in every sense of the word and international football has lost a true warrior both on and off the pitch.
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