Coaching and American dream on agenda post retirement for former Chelsea star Didier Drogba
When it comes to legendary Premier League strikers, any discussion is incomplete without mentioning Didier Drogba. The former Ivory Coast international won four league titles and one UEFA Champions League title with Chelsea and his tally of 164 goals from 381 appearances makes him the fourth all-time highest goal-scorer for the Blues.
As a result, it was a huge shock for football fans all around the world when he decided to call time on his illustrious career after playing top-level football for twenty years.
When asked about the reasons behind his retirement, the striker was quite clear that the decision was premeditated and he believes that this is the perfect time to bid farewell to his playing career.
“It was time to start something else. I have been going on for a lot of years and I have won a lot of trophies. Towards the end, I wanted to use my experience to give back to the younger players and I believe that this was the perfect time to say goodbye,” Drogba told Hindustan Times on Friday.
Drogba’s teammates at Chelsea – John Terry and Frank Lampard – have both opted for coaching careers after announcing their retirement but Drogba, who was in the capital as a global ambassador for Yokohama Tyres, was reluctant to talk about his intentions to follow their lead. The striker believes that it will be an interesting option but he needs to think about that move.
“When two of your friends are going in that direction, it certainly makes you think about whether I should follow that path or not. But, I think that coaching can be quite interesting,” he said.
While a majority of his career was spent with Chelsea, Drogba did travel around the world during his career. He plied his Chinese Super League team Shanghai Shenhua, Turkish side Galatasaray, Major League Soccer (MLS) side Montreal Impact before joining American second-tier side Phoenix Rising.
However, Phoenix Rising is more than just a playing assignment for Drogba as he owns a part of the club and right now, his immediate goal is to develop the club and to take it to the country’s top-tier league.
“That is actually my next move. I decided to join Phoenix Rising because I wanted to give back to the game. As of now, I want the team to grow and hopefully we will be able to get a MLS franchise license. It is just the beginning of the journey and this can be a great experience for me and the club as well.”
‘VAR is a good idea’
After years of debate about the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, the Premier League announced plans to implement it for the 2019-20 season after clubs agreed to the change. Drogba completely agreed with the decision and believes that it will be only improve the sport in the long run.
“I personally think that it is a very good idea. We are all human beings and we make mistakes. So, if a picture or a video can help us in making a right decision, I am completely in favour of it,” he said.