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Drogba could have worn French colours

sports Updated: Jun 13, 2010 20:49 IST

Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has revealed that he would have accepted any offer to play for France to avoid being locked up by his country’s military ruler 10 years ago.

Drogba’s comments came in context of the Ivory Coast team being briefly imprisoned by military ruler General Robert Guei after a poor performance in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000.

At that time, the 32-year-old had attracted the interest of former France coach Jacques Santini, but he insists that any thoughts of missing out on possible glory with Les Bleus have never entered his mind.

“I do not have any regrets. I’m sure that if I had been called up as a youngster then I would have opted for French nationality,” News of The World quoted Drogba, as saying.

“I don’t think that would have bothered me, especially because at that time there was no real reason to wish to play for the Ivory Coast because it was such a huge mess,” he added.

Drogba had spent his childhood life travelling back and forth between Ivory Coast and France after first leaving the country of his birth when he was five.

The Abidjan-born star made his debut for the Ivory Coast in 2002, and since then he has scored 44 goals in 68 games.

“The call-up brought me closer to my origins, my roots and my people. Like all those who have a double culture, I was looking for myself a bit,” Drogba said.

“Accepting that invitation to play for my country helped me find out who I really was,” he added.