THE LEGEND STRIKER DIDIER DROGBA !

WORLD STRIKER DIDIER DROGBA

Looking  back at the career of the Ivory Coast international as he bids farewell to Chelsea.

1978: March 11 – Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

1998: Begins his professional career playing for Le Mans, where he scores 12 league goals in 68 appearances for the French Ligue 2 club.

THE LEGEND STRIKER

2002: January – Signs for Guingamp, where he makes his name by scoring 17 goals in a season, finishing as third-highest goalscorer.

2003: June – Transfers to Marseille from the Brittany club for £4million. In the following season, he scores 19 goals in Ligue 1 and 11 goals in Europe to help his team to the UEFA Cup final, knocking out Liverpool and Newcastle on the way.

2004: May – Voted Footballer of the Year in France.

July – Marseille turn down Chelsea’s initial offer of £18m for the Ivory Coast striker and demand £27million.

July 19 – Chelsea agree terms with Marseille over the £24m signing of Drogba and the deal is completed a day later.

2005: May – Finishes the season with 16 goals as the Blues win the Premier League and League Cup.

2006: February – Captains the Ivory Coast to their second African Nations Cup final, but sees his spot-kick saved as they lose 4-2 on penalties to Egypt following a goalless draw.

March 25 – Causes controversy when he admits “sometimes I dive” after a 2-0 win over Manchester City. He immediately retracts the statement.

May – Chelsea retain the league title as Drogba again scores 16 times during the campaign.

June 11 – Scores the Ivory Coast’s first ever World Cup goal in 2-1 loss to Argentina.

2007: March – Crowned African Footballer of the Year.

May 19 – Scores an extra-time winner as Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final. It caps a season in which he finds the net 33 times and claims the Premier League’s golden boot.

2008: April 30 – Drogba scores twice in the semi-final second leg to send Chelsea through to their first Champions League final.He becomes their top European scorer of all time.

May 21 – Sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic as Chelsea lose the Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United.

October 20 – FA investigate a claim in his autobiography that he wished he’d punched Nemanja Vidic in the Champions League final. Three days later he is cleared.

November 12 – Drogba appears to make a one-fingered gesture and then throw a coin picked up off the pitch into the crowd after scoring against Burnley in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge.

November 14 – FA charge him with violent conduct as a result of the incident and he is banned for three matches.

2009: May 6 – Drogba confronts referee Tom Henning Ovrebo over decisions in Chelsea’s exit from the Champions League against Barcelona. He appears to mouth “it’s a f*****g disgrace” down a TV camera lens.

May 30 – Scores the equaliser as Chelsea come from behind to beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

June 17 – Handed a six-game European ban with the final two games suspended. The ban was reduced by one match on appeal.

September 26 – Scores 100th goal for Chelsea in 3-1 defeat at Wigan

2010: March – Named African Footballer of the Year for the second time.

March 12 – Sent-off as Chelsea crash out of the Champions League 1-0 to Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge, 3-1 on aggregate.

April 6 – Scores second goal in a 2-0 win at Manchester United, handing Chelsea the initiative in the title race.

April 29 – Named among world’s 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.

May – Named Chelsea Player of the Year.

May 21 – Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 to win the Premier League title. During the game Drogba gets visibly angry with Frank Lampard when he will not let him take a penalty which would have put him ahead of Wayne Rooney as the league’s top goalscorer. Drogba goes on to score a hat-trick and win the golden boot for the second time.

May 15 – Scores the winning goal as Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1-0 to complete the league and cup double.

June 1 – New Ivory Coast manager Sven Goran Eriksson names Drogba in his 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

June 4 – Suffers broken arm during Ivory Coast’s World Cup warm-up friendly with Japan.

June 15 – Comes on as a substitute in goalless draw against Portugal wearing protective cast.

June 20 – Starts and scores in 3-1 defeat to Brazil, a result which effectively ended Ivory Coast’s World Cup.

October – First amateur club Levallois Sporting Club names stadium after the striker.

November 8 – Diagnosed with malaria but makes a full recovery.

2011: September – Joins the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission to help return peace to his home nation.

November – Rejects new Chelsea contract.

December 31: Scores 150th Chelsea goal against Aston Villa to put him level with club’s all-time leading scorers Peter Osgood and Roy Bentley.

2012: February 12 – Misses late penalty as Zambia go on to win African Nations Cup in a shoot-out.

March 10 – Scores 100th Premier League goal, becoming the first African to reach the landmark.

April 18 – Solitary goal secures Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Barcelona.

May 5 – Becomes first player to score in four different FA Cup finals in 2-1 victory over Liverpool.

May 19 – Heads a late equaliser in Champions League final against Bayern Munich and scores the penalty in the shoot-out which sees Chelsea crowned European champions for the first time.

May 22 – Chelsea announce Drogba is to leave.

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