Drogba confirms Chelsea departure

DrogbaBye (Getty Images)

Didier Drogba will forever be remembered by Chelsea fans for his heroic performance which helped the club lift their first UEFA Champions League trophy, especially since it will be his final contribution for the team.

The 34-year-old Drogba confirmed that he will leave the club when his contract expires next month. Drogba has not said where his next destination will be, but he has been heavily linked to joining former Chelsea forward Nicolas Anelka at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Ivory Coast international is coming off a big performance in the Champions League final. Drogba saved Chelsea from defeat minutes before the end of regulation with a thunderous header, and he also converted the winning spot kick in the ensuing penalty shootout to give Chelsea European glory.

"I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea," Drogba said in a statement on Tuesday. "It has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but I am very proud of what we have achieved. As a team we have accomplished so much, and have won every single trophy possible. Saturday was a very special moment for everyone at the club and for all the fans, and I am very proud to have played my part in bringing many trophies to this club which has been my home for the last eight years."

What do you think of Drogba leaving Chelsea? How will you look back on his time with the club? Would you like to see an MLS team make a run for him? Whom do you think Chelsea should go after to replace him? Disappointed he won't be taking part in the MLS All-Star Game?

Share your thoughts below.

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90 Responses to Drogba confirms Chelsea departure

  1. Brandon says:

    What happened with the Drogba to MLS talk? Is that still legit? Would love to see him in the league.

  2. Mike says:

    He finished strong, but he had a woeful season and he is old. Also, I’ve heard that the club took some real backlash from his antics on the pitch which created some animosity.

  3. Sticky says:

    Evidently Karma has run over Drogba.

  4. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    I wouldn’t play in the polluted cesspool of Beijing or Shanghai if they paid me 300,000 pounds a week. I’m thinking PSG or Juventus

  5. Idaho Brian says:

    Drogba is a beast. I would think there would be a number of Champions League teams that would jump at the chance to sign him. I would love to see him in MLS, but I think he could be a starter for a top team in Europe for another 1-2 years.

  6. NowakOut says:

    Clearly this is why Nowak & Co. are hoarding up all that allocation money.

    Clearly …

    :rolleyes:

  7. PCFC says:

    If you want to play in highly polluted air, why not go to LA (besides not having DPs)?

  8. K Bone says:

    Woeful? He is certainly not the player he used to be, but he did score some of the biggest goals in the club’s history. I don’t think you can call this a woeful season for him…

  9. farcyde21 says:

    I would LOVE to see him in a Revs kit but I doubt anyone in MLS would be willing to pay him what he wants/deserves.

  10. Ivar Clam man says:

    Adrain, you’re up for a vote..

    work it

  11. A.S. says:

    AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    Dumbest. Move. Ever.

    He was the best player on the field on Saturday. Why on earth would Chelsea let him go? This is moronic. Who do they think is so special they are going to get to replace him? He doesn’t need to start every game – midweek matches against Sunderland he can ride the pine. But for crying out loud, he’s the single player responsible for a Champions League title.

  12. GSScasual says:

    NYRB could easily.. But, A great bowler wouldn’t want to bowl on gravel, so why would a footballer want to ball on plastic? No high calibre star would ever play on turf.. jussayin

  13. GSScasual says:

    There are many things in the back office, budgets, wages, future plans, contracts.. not everything has to do with current form.

  14. al17 says:

    Not in a BAZILLION YEARS do we want him for PSG and it’s mutual. He would quit playing before signing for PSG and anyone high in the club actually considering it would be forced to leave France for Safety reasons.

    You do realize that he played for the huns known as Marseille (OM). He hates PSG and it’s mutual.

  15. elgringorico says:

    yes, yes you would.

  16. A.S. says:

    Clearly this is why NYRB just traded Agudelo for allocation money.

  17. Hopper says:

    Mike, you’re smoking crack. Drogba is still an elite player. He just proved it two days ago. Any club would want a player like him. He’s always money in the big games.

  18. al17 says:

    Oh like hell we would. I’m not joking in any way but he definitely wouldn’t dream of speaking to PSG. Besides, talks with Eto’O have been ongoing for a bit and he could be there along with Kaka by summer’s end.

    I see Drogba getting this sorted out and staying at Chelsea.

  19. Weaksauce says:

    NEW YORK RED BULLS

  20. al17 says:

    LMAO!!!!

    So he can bench him.

    Ha, Ha

  21. Weaksauce says:

    NY redbull arena is natural grass. Wayne Rooney said it was the best pitch he played on in the US

  22. Sam says:

    He would definitely help with their goal-scoring woes……

  23. Dinho says:

    al17…. he wasn’t talking to you. he was telling timmytwoshoezzz that he would play in China if he got paid like that.

  24. Dinho says:

    Oh, and Cech had nothing to do with it, right?

  25. Dinho says:

    Remember that Drogba fouled Ribery in extra time to give Bayern a penalty. Cech should be lauded almost as much as Drogba.

  26. CA says:

    If Sounders lose Montero in the summer transfer window, we’ll accept Drogba as a suitable replacement:)

  27. sciroccer says:

    It would be nice to see him in the MLS, BUT I think he’ll go to China. Which sucks because he will disappear just like Anelka did.

  28. Mike says:

    You’re a very rude and condescending person who is loud and incorrect.

    I said, “he finished strong,” indicating that he came up big at the end of the season.

    But his regular season form was pretty awful.

  29. SilverRey says:

    …so he can get him into the club house, realize that he’s speaks up in class, then trade him to Toronto for Reggie Lambe and something to be named later.

  30. A.S. says:

    Dude, this is chosing among your children. Yes Cech is important. But, man, Drogba scored Chelsea’s only goal on Saturday. He scored what ended up to be the game winning goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup final. And he scored the only goal in the home leg against Barca. He is the single most important player in winning that silverware.

  31. RLW2020 says:

    i am usually anti-old DP’s but personally i think just about any MLS squad should, if they can, throw Beckham money at Drogba! The guy is still a beast and would kick @ss in the physical/fast paced MLS.

    Also he has to be about as Marketable as any player in the world, especially after his last game.

    I really hope someone puts up the cash, it would be worth it!

  32. Taylor says:

    even after you correct yourself, you’re still incorrect. it took him a while to get going, but that’s more because he was coming off the bench early on as AVB was starting Torres purely because he was so expensive, not because he deserved it. Drogba would come off the bench and brought the team back to life and often scored a goal. he then showed against Barcelona that he is the prototype for a target striker, and finished off with an incredible performance to win the CL. sounds like a pretty damn good season

  33. Stracho says:

    …its the only acceptable explanation for the Nowak lunacy.

    Henry vs Drogba 3 times a year would be great for the local rivalry and MLS.

  34. bryan says:

    i just hope he comes to MLS. China would be a complete waste unless he only cares about money. Anelka wants him there because he regrets his decision! haha

  35. weimdog says:

    He’d do great in the MLS…teaching the kids how to dive ;)

  36. Illmatic74 says:

    Malaga should try to sign Drogba and Nesta fot their Champions league run next season.

  37. Michael says:

    Google Anelka and check out how he feels about China; as of today he is threatening to leave. Money can make you happy for a time, but it will not last.

    Also, I know that we want Didier’s focus to be on the game when he comes, but what better place to get on a human rights platform than the US if you arent going to stick around Europe. I dont mean to say this is the end all be all, but America does offer a lot of visability beyond the pitch for someone of his stature and someone like him who feels so strongly about human rights in his homeland.

    Also, I must note, I am a Union fan and thus this may be me convincing myself he should come to the US, regardless of how remote the changes are that we will finally use our stockpile of allocation $ to finance his acquisition.

  38. K Bone says:

    I don’t know, I’m fairly certain he could agreed something with Chelsea, but I would wager him saying he’s leaving Chelsea is a fact, I don’t think he’d say it and then change his mind…

  39. K Bone says:

    I agree he was crucial to the CL title for obvious reasons, but he’s 34 and there is no way they can sustain another run like that for another season without quite a few new players. I’m sure Chelsea are looking for a world class striker and Drogba knows he can’t play all the time. Plus, he just won the CL and therefore can leave Chelsea having one everything there is to win…

  40. RLW2020 says:

    thanks for the story, looked it up. Does not sound good there! Id say that the odds have to be good for MLS, assuming they want to make the move.

    Philly would be a good destination if they have the money.

  41. DCLee says:

    Cool!

  42. Michael says:

    How about this line-up if Drogba were to go to the Earthquakes (No Dp’s now)

    Drogba/Wondo (Subs: Lenhart/Gordon)
    Dawkins/Baca/Cronin/Chavez (subs: Moreno/Salinas/Garza)
    Corrales/Morrow/Bernardez/Beitashour (subs: Opara/Hernandez)

    Not saying it would happen, but it would be fun to watch

  43. bryan says:

    haha of course. it was obvious when he signed that he would regret that decision.

  44. Hopper says:

    You used the word “woeful” to describe Drogba, and I’m the one who’s rude, condescending and incorrect?

    He was also injured a lot this past season, so I’m not exactly sure how much you’ve been paying attention anyway.

    Maybe your powers of observation are woeful.

  45. t levins says:

    Drogba Come to the MLS!!!

  46. A.S. says:

    Lampard and Terry are elderly (in soccer terms) too. But nobody is talking about getting rid of them. If you need to clear out dead wood to make room for new players, fine. But there is PLENTY of dead wood around Chlesea that should go before Drogba. Starting with Torres, and moving on to Malouda, Essien (much as I’ve loved him over the years), Mata (who has really tailed off), Kalou, Bosingwa, etc.

  47. Dinho says:

    Agreed that he was most important.

    But, you said he was the “single player” responsible for the CL title.

    Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but others were VERY important (read: not Terry). :)

  48. PD says:

    Sadly I think it’s a matter of playing for the highest bidder. I would not be surprised if an “acceptable offer” from an MLS club would make his salary would pretty much equal the rest of the roster combined. Unlike Beckham (the Beckham name is a brand that transcends soccer) there are only so many sponsorships and tie-ins he could be offered to sweeten the pot and I don’t know how interested he’s be in owning a stake in a future MLS expansion club. The only thing an MLS club could offer Drogba is cash, and that’s something Qatari and Chinese and former Soviet Republic teams have in greater quantity. It stinks when soccer is a business, because I think he could do a lot to grow the sport in the USA.

  49. PD says:

    no, hopper is right, you are inferring that because he had an awful season that he’s somehow damaged good. therefore the obligatory snarky retort (i.e. “Mike you’re smoking crack”) is one I’m gonna +1.

    Sorry I’m sure you’ve very nice for a crack smoker. But there are about 100 clubs worldwide that would sell the store to have a season with Drogba on their squad, not just to sell tickets, but to win games. Same goes for Torres, who had a “terrible season” but also took part in some of the most important offensive momets for the club this season.

  50. PD says:

    First of all, “Huns” usually describe a northern person, but since like most PSG fans you seem to have your head up your head up your *** it’s understandable why you would think north is south.

    Droit au but!

  51. A.S. says:

    Yes, my comment was poorly phrased. My bad.

  52. fish says:

    The quakes? Uhhhh…not happening

  53. Conrad says:

    Strong player. But he’s no Dempsey.

  54. Conrad says:

    PS: Kidding. But before your head explodes, it’s worth noting that Demps was WAY ahead of Didier in goals scored. So, in fact, was Daniel Sturridge (and HE would KILL in MLS). I know he was injured; I know he was subbed in the first part of the season.

  55. Michael says:

    Right! As I said, not saying it would happen, but it would be fun to watch. Translation: In a fictional universe where the Quakes were in a good market and had an owner to spend DP levels of money, this would be fun to watch. Read the entire post before commenting.

  56. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    No, really if I were him, I would not. He’s already made millions, he doesn’t need the money. And he can go somewhere with less that 230,000ppm dirt in the air and still make a very tidy paycheck.

  57. XPK says:

    It is likely that Chelsea had such a great late season run because several of the older players involved in the run were less tired/injured from having not started/played as many games during most of the season.

  58. pd says:

    Sadly the money “saved” from LeToux and Mondragon and Califf would pay for about… i’d say 37 minutes of playing time for Drogba…

  59. PD says:

    Anelka misses cheese.

  60. Michael M says:

    He seems like one of the few players with the athletic prowess to draw respect and possibly attention from the general US sports audience. In that regard, he would be well worth the money it would take to bring him to the MLS.

  61. Michael K in San Diego says:

    Soccer *is* a business. These guys (and gals) playing the game for pay go to work just like most of us, and when they ‘change jobs,’ they want to earn as much as they can, especially when their window of peak earning is so short. I certainly don’t begrudge them their payday, wherever it is (i also would like to see more world-class players here in North America). I do applaud MLS somewhat for holding the line on salaries, but the lowest salaries really need to be boosted!

  62. RLW2020 says:

    go play FIFA12

  63. RLW2020 says:

    if i was building a team for the long run, id take Demps over Drogba. In 3-5 years Demps would still be top of his game and Drogba would be retired. the only issue is Drogba doesn’t come with a transfer fee while Demps will cost any club somewhere around $10mil this summer.

  64. RLW2020 says:

    +1

  65. jon says:

    one of the greatest pure target forwards ever to play the game. maybe the best i’ve seen. it would suck if he dissappeared into china. he’s such a beast of a player, i think he’d capture the imagination in the US. I hope some MLS teams are at least in the hunt..

  66. g-dub says:

    1. Drogba effect could be the new Beckham effect. (BTW – the Beckham effect worked.)

    2. The only possible way is by a deep pockets owner in a big market, with a deal sweetening assist by MLS and/or other sponsorship entities.

    3. Unfortunately the timing is off. If the new NY team was ready to join MLS Drogba would have been perfect. (NY is the world headquarters for international aide.)

    4. Longshot possibilities: NYRB, LA, Montreal (Francais), Seattle (Drogba could sell a few Xboxes).

  67. Peahead says:

    Hopper, you are a fool. You no nothing about the game, and you are a big dope. You are wrong.

  68. Peahead says:

    No, Hopper is wrong. You are such an idiot!!!! My God, learn to read!!!

  69. Peahead says:

    You were incorrect when you were born. Learn to read. Finish school.

  70. Ben says:

    What exactly does “learning to read” have anything to do with him being wrong? Where did he go wrong? Offer some insightful comments please…

  71. Ben says:

    I would play in Antarctica for 300,00 pounds per week.

  72. hogatroge says:

    Hell, I’d play in Antarctica for 3,000 pounds per week.

  73. Stracho says:

    Also a Union fan, but its less about the allocation money (he would count less against the cap this year than Califf alone since its mid-season) and more about the value he would add to the franchise. Philly market has a ton of growth potential as shown by last years tv ratings; this is one of the reasons we are hosting Chelsea in the allstar game. Addition of Drogba would add more to the bottom line in Philly since there is absolutely zero star power on the team whereas NY and LA have their big names. Lack of attention this year to the Union reminds me of the void in the Sixers attendance after Iverson left. Philly sports market needs a star to keep growing and there is plenty of potential to pay back the investment.

    Also here is a Q&A with Drogba back in 2006: “Q: You and Chelsea have come to the United States the past two summers. Have you enjoyed those trips?

    A: What I really like about the States is that it is a very different culture. Who knows, maybe after my career I will go there to try something. In terms of football, I think it has improved a lot since the first time I was there four years ago. I like this team D.C. United. They are good and strong. And that young boy [Freddy] Adu is very good. (Adu was traded by D.C. United to Real Salt Lake earlier this week).”

    And yes Nowak was the coach in D.C. in 2006. Sort of makes you wonder if the allstar game was set up for a reason. League could really get a boost with bigger NY/NJ/PA interest. Maybe it leads to NY finally getting that 2nd team.

  74. Gon Darber says:

    Drogba showed he can be a top 10 player in the world when he’s really motivated – even at 34.

  75. Eugene says:

    Would be awesome to see him in MLS. Perhaps Montreal? Perhaps Houston?

  76. HansomeJake says:

    When’s the last time Drogba scored more goals than Clint? 2010, two season’s have passed and the only reason people are chatting about Drogba is because Chelsea is good enough to make it to the Champions league final without him. What can Fulham do without Clint? Drogba’s far behind Clint.
    And where else do you get 23 goals for 10 million pounds?

  77. MiamiFCforever says:

    you are an idiot.

  78. tim says:

    Drogba to Fc Dallas!

    ***wakes up***

  79. Johnny Ramone says:

    Drogba is gping to Toronto Footy Culture! He’s impressed by their fans!

  80. yee says:

    Drogba is behind dempsey…..LOL. I’m as big a Dempsey fan as anyone, but I don’t see him scoring gamewinners against Barca, or winning the champions league

  81. DRazor says:

    Send Keane and Beckham packing and replace them with Drogba and Lampard!

  82. The Imperative Voice says:

    We have a blank check rule, ie, DP, that theoretically makes the sky the limit and the cap impact modest. So this is not “business” vs. MLS. We can make a decent offer if not Qatari or Chinese money.

    Which gets me to part B. We can also offer a legitimate soccer competition. All due respect to “soccer is business” but only in the corrupt sense can a dollar score a goal. At bottom to me it is a sport, played generally by people who like that sport. To a player like Henry who likes the USA, and doesn’t require an absolute max offer, we can offer a serious league to finish your career in, relatively safe, etc.

    Also, I don’t think jocks have to be pure profit maximizers, some would rather retire a “Man U guy” than play somewhere else two years, some would rather give a little on money to play competitive ball — how much money do they need? at some point they are pretty set and might have other, more aesthetic concerns — and some might want to avoid the “mercenary” label that comes with going to one of the pure money leagues like Qatar.

    I can’t believe a serious league, playing with Henry, decent money, etc., would be outweighed by, say, China, Anelka, and a bag of money. Among other things, if he plays here, I don’t think that means international retirement per se, we are sufficiently respected. But if he heads off to China or Qatar like the Ghanaian or Anelka you can stick a fork in his Ivory Coast career.

  83. The Imperative Voice says:

    PSG just got beat by Montpelier.

    Plus, he’s done the French thing before at his career’s start. Why not try something different?

    I don’t believe Juve will risk momentum on Drogba.

  84. Mig22 says:

    He has been my favorite player for years and his performances late in the season were some of my fondest memories of any sporting event…ever.

    That said, it is time for him to go at 34. Chelsea need to evolve now (and get rid of POS#26). Let him cash a monster check in China, Russia, or the Middle East for a season or two. But he will be missed.

  85. Peahead says:

    I am a fool. I no nothing about the game, and I am a big dope. I are wrong.

  86. soccerroo says:

    I believe that GSScasual was refering to the post about him being on the Revs.

  87. Helium-3 says:

    Anelka will be leaving China as his team is undermining his role, and they are in last place. Recipe for termination.

    Thus most likely Drogba will be coming to MLS if they are able to give him $6 – $10 M USD. Is he worth it, hell yes.

  88. Tim says:

    How about Drogba to the Philadelphia Union and we call it a day? Cool?

  89. CK1 says:

    Cote d’Ivoire will play him no matter what. He’s a national hero there. He could play in the Antarctican league and still be CIV’s captain.

  90. CK1 says:

    You’re nuts.