Didier Drogba has confirmed he is leaving Chelsea, a decision which means the striker's last kick of a ball for the English club will be the penalty that sealed a first European Champions League crown on Saturday.
Three thoughts after Chelsea won the Champions League title on Saturday over Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 tie:
Didier Drogba scored the winner in a dramatic penalty shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich Saturday to win the European Champions League for the first time.
Didier Drogba will be out of contract at Chelsea in 10 weeks' time. Under Andre Villas-Boas, the plan was to leave it that way. Even now, with the future kept at arm's length, the club has offered only a one-year deal that Drogba has refused for being too short. Back in December, bookmakers had Russia as his most likely destination because, as The Mirror put it, "megabucks Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala are spending money like it's going out of fashion... and specialize in buying over-the-hill players." It is not just the odds that need some revision after six days in which Drogba's continuing value has been boldly underscored.
Didier Drogba scored his 100th English Premier League goal as Chelsea edged 10-man Stoke 1-0 at Stamford Bridge Saturday.
Zambia lifted the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time after beating the Ivory Coast 8-7 in a dramatic penalty shootout in Sunday's final in Libreville.
Chelsea have qualified for the last 16 of the European Champions League after two Didier Drogba goals helped them to a 3-0 Group E victory over Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
The two key figures in Chelsea's 4-1 win over Swansea City on Saturday weren't on the pitch at the final whistle. They weren't even in sight of it, Fernando Torres having been sent off and Frank Lampard having left the bench a couple of minutes from the end. In their respective narratives is bound up the story of the new Chelsea that is beginning to emerge.
Five things we learned from Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League:
In moments of crisis, return to basics. Carlo Ancelotti wrote his dissertation for his coaching diploma on the 4-3-2-1, and it was to the Christmas tree he returned against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It might have been an inspired reversion -- and indeed it did address some of the problems Chelsea had suffered in the first leg -- but in the harsh light of a 2-1 defeat it may seem like a doomed manager scrabbling desperately for the comforts of the familiar.
Didier Drogba made a successful return to international football on Tuesday as the Ivory Coast beat Mali 1-0 in a friendly in France.
When Carlo Ancelotti arrived at Chelsea in summer 2009, he started off playing 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond. That paired Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba as strike partners, with Frank Lampard tucked behind. It rapidly became apparent that Lampard is far better played with the ball in front of him than playing with his back to goal.
It has been exactly one year since I traveled 44 hours to Angola to interview Didier Drogba, the Chelsea and Ivory Coast superstar, for a story in Sports Illustrated magazine leading up to last year's World Cup. He couldn't have been more accommodating, spending 90 minutes talking to me in his private bungalow on the heavily fortified Ivory Coast team base in Cabinda during the African Cup of Nations.
Substitute Didier Drogba missed a last minute penalty as Premier League champions Chelsea drew 1-1 at rivals Tottenham in a thrilling London derby on Sunday.
The love affair between Didier Drogba and Marseille was a brief and passionate one, and it will be rekindled this week when he returns for the first time since his departure in 2004. On Wednesday, Chelsea takes on the French champions at the Stade Velodrome in the Champions League's Group F Matchday Six encounter.
Chelsea's star striker Didier Drogba has been suffering from malaria, his club manager revealed on Tuesday, but the Ivory Coast player will still line up for the London derby against Fulham in the English Premier League on Wednesday.
Double winners Chelsea began the defense of their English Premier League title with a 6-0 drubbing of West Brom, while another promoted club provided the shock of the day as Blackpool thrashed Wigan 4-0.
Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to play his injured captain Didier Drogba from the start of their crucial World Cup Group G clash against Brazil on Sunday.
Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has rejoined his teammates at their training base in Switzerland after successful surgery on his broken arm.
Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba is facing World Cup heartbreak after fracturing his right arm in a 2-0 warm-up victory over Japan on Friday.
Hats off to Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who surprised everyone -- perhaps even Didier Drogba himself -- by leaving his leading goal scorer on the bench against Manchester United and fielding the same starting 11 that had demolished Aston Villa the week before.
Goal machine Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea returned to the top of the English Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 win over relegation battlers West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea's Didier Drogba has been crowned African Footballer of the Year for the second time.
Chelsea reclaimed the lead in the English Premier League as Didier Drogba continued his hot scoring run against title hopefuls Arsenal with both goals in a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
Every team at this summer's World Cup has key players on which it depends. But some squads have players who influence the game so much that their team simply isn't the same without them. These are the "untouchables" -- the guys for whom coaches, fans and even teammates at times say little prayers in hopes they'll stay healthy. Here are some of those players whose teams need them to be at their very best.
Didier Drogba scored a vital equalizer as Chelsea came from behind to beat west London neighbors Fulham 2-1 to extend their English Premier League lead to five points.
Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea re-established a five point lead at the top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Didier Drogba is backing his Ivory Coast team to make history by becoming the first African country to reach the final of the World Cup next year.
Didier Drogba came off the bench to rescue a point for Ivory Coast as they drew 1-1 with Malawi on Saturday to book their place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Chelsea have been lifted by the news that Didier Drogba's injury is not as bad as feared, while England midfielder Joe Cole is set to make his long-awaited comeback.
Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba already has two goals after the first two games of the English Premier League season with Chelsea (2-0). One of the game's most feared strikers, Drogba, 31, sat down with me in Baltimore recently to talk about Chelsea, next year's World Cup and what it takes to adjust to so many new managers in a short time. Here's an edited version of our conversation:
Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea came from behind to beat Hull City 2-1 in the opening match of the English Premier League season.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has signed a new three-year contract with the English Premier League giants.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has told a news conference that he expects striker Didier Drogba to remain at the club, after the Ivory Coast international scored the opening goal in the Premier League side's 2-0 friendly victory over Italian champions Inter Milan in Pasadena on Tuesday.
Didier Drogba has been handed a four-game ban from European club competition for his antics after Chelsea's Champions League semifinal defeat to Barcelona last month.
Didier Drogba has been handed a six-game ban from European club competition for his antics after Chelsea's Champions League semifinal defeat to Barcelona last month.
Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was understood to have been smuggled out of England by police after receiving a number of death threats following his officiating of the Champions League semifinal second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona -- according to the UK Press Association.
Didier Drogba muscled his way through for a late winner to put Chelsea into the FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday.
Didier Drogba scored the only goal as Chelsea beat Juventus 1-0 at Stamford Bridge to give Guus Hiddink's side a slender advantage ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg in Turin.
Didier Drogba shares Nicolas Anelka's belief that the duo can fire Chelsea's trophy charge under caretaker-manager Guus Hiddink.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba said he lost his passion for football during the close season after his team failed to win a trophy as Manchester United pipped them to the English title and the Champions League.
Chelsea stayed in second place in the English Premier League with a 2-0 win over bottom club West Bromwich Albion in an early kick off on Boxing Day.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was suspended for three matches by the English Football Association on Tuesday for hurling a coin back into the crowd during a Carling Cup tie.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has admitted an English Football Association charge of violent conduct following last week's Carling Cup defeat by Burnley, when he was pictured throwing an object at away fans.
Chelsea have confirmed that striker Didier Drogba will not require surgery on the knee injury he sustained against CFR Cluj in the Champions League.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba could be back in action on Wednesday, when Ivory Coast face Guinea in a friendly international at Chantilly. near Paris.
First Blood to Manchester United, as goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs made them the John Rambo to Chelsea's bumbling small town sheriff in last Sunday's EPL finale. At the moment it's anyone's guess who'll play the muscle-bound Vietnam veteran, and who'll be the hapless Vietnamese soldiers in next week's sequel.
Extra-time goals from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a 3-2 victory over Liverpool to send the London side into a Champions League final showdown against English Premier League rivals Manchester United, 4-3 on aggregate.
Didier Drogba stepped up the war of words ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League semifinal second leg by saying he had lost respect for Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.
Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and climb above their London rivals into second place in the Premier Division table.
Chelsea's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba does not want to be considered for the African Player of the Year award any more after claiming that he missed out this year because he refused to travel to Togo from Ghana, where his team is still involved in the Nations Cup.
Didier Drogba opened the scoring as the Ivory Coast made light work of beating Benin 4-1 in their African Nations Cup Group B game in Sekondi.
Coming at a time when Europe's leagues are gearing up for the sharp end of the season and thoughts are turning to the knockout stages of the Champions League and UEFA Cup, the African Nations Cup can sometimes feel like the unwanted child of the international football calendar.
Chelsea's opening bid to sign $25 million-rated French international striker Nicolas Anelka has been rejected by Premier League rivals Bolton Wanderers.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been selected in the Ivory Coast's preliminary squad for next month's African Nations Cup.
Chelsea have confirmed that Didier Drogba has undergone an operation on his injured knee.
Two-goal Didier Drogba fired Chelsea into the last-16 of the Champions League as Group B winners as the Premier League side turned up the heat with a 4-0 triumph over Rosenborg on a freezing night in Norway.
Didier Drogba delivered the fatal blow as Chelsea swept three points clear in their Champions League group after a 2-0 victory against Bundesliga hopes Schalke at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba struck a second-half winner against Valencia to give manager Avram Grant his first victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Didier Drogba, top marksman in the English Premier League last season, has made a speedy recovery from a knee injury and is expected to line up alongside Andriy Shevchenko when Chelsea face west London rivals Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Whether or not Didier Drogba was given some 'friendly advice' by his Chelsea team captain John Terry, or all the media criticism and rival fan abuse finally had some impact on him, but last season saw the Ivory Coast striker finally make his mark in the Premier League for all the right reasons.
Arsenal have no hope of challenging Manchester United and Chelsea next season for the English Premiership title after the sale of Thierry Henry, according to Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.
Didier Drogba scored four minutes from the end of extra time to give Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley stadium.
With an injury crisis so bad the club's training sessions must resemble a casualty clinic, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho joked this week that even third-choice goalkeeper Hilario might get a game in Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United -- up front, alongside Didier Drogba.
With his two-point conversion to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and his subsequent on-field proposal to cheerleader Chrissy Popadics, one might have thought Boise State's Ian Johnson, 20, had fulfilled his sports-related dreams. But, no. After the game, the running back revealed that he longed to chat up Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, 28, a star striker for Chelsea. Talking to Drogba, Johnson said, "would be huge ... as big as winning this game." So I arranged for a transatlantic phone call between the two, and listened in. Here are excerpts from their conversation:
Didier Drogba kept up his remarkable scoring run this season by grabbing the opening goal of the match as Premier League champions Chelsea stayed nine points behind leaders Manchester United with a 2-0 win at Portsmouth.
Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba says Chelsea partner Andriy Shevchenko needs to be less selfish if he wants to succeed at Stamford Bridge.
Substitute Didier Drogba bent in a free kick to give Chelsea a 1-0 win at Newcastle United in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Didier Drogba struck in the 38th minute for the Ivory Coast to defeat Sweden 1-0 in an international friendly played at Le Mans in France on Wednesday.
Striker Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick as Chelsea trounced Watford 4-0 to put the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester United on Saturday.
Chelsea returned to winning ways on Wednesday when Frank Lampard, Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba gave them a 4-0 home win over Aston Villa in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Chelsea went top of Champions League Group A as Didier Drogba's hat-trick eased them to a 3-1 victory over injury-hit debutants Levski Sofia.
Didier Drogba found goalscoring form ahead of the World Cup with a first half double as the Ivory Coast beat Slovenia 3-0 in a warmup match in Evry, France on Sunday.
Ivory Coast | Forward
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that want-away duo Didier Drogba and William Gallas will not be allowed to quit the English champions until their contracts are up.
Group C | World ranking: 32
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Didier Drogba is a "fighter" not a diver after the Ivory Coast star faced renewed criticizm Monday about his on-field conduct.
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has been named African Footballer of the Year for the third year running, edging out Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba by just two points.
Hosts Egypt have won the African Nations Cup, beating Ivory Coast 4-2 on penalties after the final finished 0-0 after extra-time.
Didier Drogba sent Ivory Coast into the African Nations Cup final against hosts Egypt on Tuesday with the only goal against Nigeria in Alexandria.
Striker Didier Drogba converted a first-half penalty to give Ivory Coast a 1-0 victory over Morocco in their African Nations Cup opener on Saturday.
Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard scored two goals apiece in a devastating nine-minute spell as Premier League leaders Chelsea maintained their 100 percent start with a 5-1 defeat of Bolton.
Two well-taken goals from Didier Drogba gave English champions Chelsea a morale-boosting 2-1 win over FA Cup holders Arsenal in the Community Shield in Cardiff on Sunday.
Didier Drogba was on target as Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points with a 1-0 home win over struggling West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.
Barcelona staged a second half revival after a controversial red card for Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
Chelsea continued their relentless assault on their first league title for 50 years and equalled a club record of seven successive top-flight victories by comfortably beating Portsmouth 3-0.
Chelsea swept seven points clear in the Premier League on Tuesday when Didier Drogba scored both in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough while Arsenal and Manchester United drew at home.
Didier Drogba scored his first goal after a long injury layoff as Chelsea beat Newcastle United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the English Premiership.
Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough with an 81st minute goal that took them to the top of the Premier League after Saturday's early game at the Riverside.
Two-goal Didier Drogba inspired Chelsea to a convincing 3-0 win over French side Paris Saint Germain in their opening Champions League Group H encounter on Tuesday.
Didier Drogba's yellow card for 'diving' against Aston Villa has been quashed by the English Football Association after referee Rob Styles reviewed a video of the incident.
Didier Drogba scored on his debut as Chelsea brushed aside Roma 3-0 in the Champions World Series in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is happy to wait until the end of the season to discover if the reported 24 million pounds ($44.5m) paid for Didier Drogba was worth it.
Chelsea and Marseille have agreed terms for the transfer of Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, the English Premier League club have confirmed.
Marseille are prepared to sell striker Didier Drogba to Chelsea, but only at a price of "some 40 million euros," the French club have revealed.
Marseille president Christophe Bouchet said on Tuesday the French side had rejected a $34.5 million offer from Premiership Chelsea for striker Didier Drogba.
Marseille striker Didier Drogba is fit for Wednesday's UEFA Cup final against newly-crowned Spanish champions Valencia, coach Jose Anigo said.
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