Didier Drogba , in full Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (born March 11, 1978, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), Ivorian professional football (soccer) player who was Côte d’Ivoire’s all-time leader in goals scored in international matches and who was twice named the African Footballer of the Year (2006, 2009).
At age five Drogba was sent to France in the care of an uncle, a professional footballer. After three years he returned home, only to go back to France after three more years in Côte d’Ivoire. At age 15 Drogba became an apprentice with second-division Levallois, outside Paris, and then in 1997–98 he moved to Le Mans FC, where in his second season he signed as a professional.
In January 2002 Drogba joined top-division Guingamp, tallying 17 goals in 34 league games. This success prompted a 2003 trade to Olympique de Marseille, where he scored 19 goals in 35 domestic matches and an additional 11 goals in European play as the club reached the 2004 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Cup final, where it lost 2–0 to Valencia of Spain.
Drogba moved to England’s Chelsea FC in 2004 in a trade from Marseille. Though Chelsea won its first Premier League championship in 50 years the following season, its new centre-forward was inconsistent. Drogba was quick, alert, and supremely confident in his own ability, though he showed a tendency to a quick temper in matches. Even in his second season, when Chelsea’s title was successfully defended, fan appreciation was still muted. Yet by the end of the 2006–07 season, when Chelsea failed in its attempt to take a third straight league championship, Drogba had won over most of the skeptical Chelsea fans by being the league’s top scorer (with 20 goals) and by finishing the season with an overall tally of 33 goals. In addition, he was the key player in Chelsea’s winning both the Football Association (FA) Cup and Carling Cup trophies that season, as he scored the club’s only goals in the finals of those two tournaments. Drogba helped lead Chelsea to the 2008 Champions League final,