Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has confirmed retirement from playing after “an amazing 20 years.
The 40-year-old Ivory Coast great spent the last 18 months of his career with US side Phoenix Rising, the club he co-owns.
“After 20 year, I have decided to put an end to my playing career,” Drogba said.
He was expected to retire after the United Soccer Cup final earlier this month, with his last game a 1-0 loss to Louisville City in the final of the United States’ second tier.
“When I think of the last 20 years of my professional career, looking at this picture can’t make me more proud of what I’ve achieved as a player but most importantly how this journey has shaped me as a man,” he said in a twitter statement.
Drogba had two spells at Chelsea, scoring 164 goals in 381 games and winning four Premier Leagues and the 2012 Champions League.
He did not play top-flight football until the age of 23, when French side Guingamp signed him from Ligue 2 Le Mans in January 2002.
He moved to Marseille 18 months later – and the following year completed a reported 24 million pounds move to Chelsea, where he had the best spell of his career.
“If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into reality.
“I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he added.
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