Golden Foot Candidates: Didier Drogba

Here’s a look at the list of the candidates who have been nominated for this year’s awards.

The next player on this list is Ivorian striking legend Didier Drogba

The winner of the award has to be above the age of 28 and still playing. Awarded for a footballer’s outstanding sporting achievements, the winner gets to leave his footprints on the Champions Promenade overlooking the seafront at the Principality of Monaco. Just like the Hollywood walk of fame, only slightly less cool.

Liverpool v Chelsea - FA Cup Final

Full name: Didier Yves Drogba Tebily

DOB: 11 March 1978

Clubs: Levallois, Le Mans, Guingamp, Marseille, Chelsea, Shanghai Shenhua, Galatasaray

Why has he been included on this list?

Didier Drogba is the perfect example of the rags-to-riches African footballer story that the world has come to idolise and respect.

Most African footballers who make it to the big leagues come from very humble backgrounds. Impoverished parents and a large family to provide for means taking care of your loved ones comes first.

Drogba has beaten the odds and followed his passion. He is the embodiment of dedication, perseverance and hard work, having made it to the top and staying there for the majority of his career. At one point one of the best strikers in the world, he is feared by defenders all over the world for his penchant to create goals out of nothing, his power, his physical presence and his dedication.

At 35, he is still considered to be an influential striker who can turn a game on its head.

What has he won?

Drogba will most be remembered for his time at Chelsea for helping them lift their very first Champions League title at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in 2012.

Drogba with the Champions League trophy

Drogba with the Champions League trophy

But that is just the icing on the cake of his career at Chelsea, with whom he won a plethora of trophies including three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two League Cups and two Community Shields, all of which he had a major hand in.

He also won the Turkish Super Lig with Galatasaray in 2012 after joining them from Shanghai.

He has unfortunately never won a title with his country and time could be running out for the 25-year-old, who will definitely soon call time on his playing career.

He had 29 individual awards to his name including the African Footballer of the Year, the Premier League Golden Boot, the Onze d’Or and a Man of the Match award for his performance in the Champions League final in 2012.

Best and Worst moments

In the 2008 Champions League final, three minutes from penalties, Drogba was sent off for slapping Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic. His team went on to lose the game 6-5 on penalties.

He more than redeemed himself however when he powered home his team’s equaliser in the dying minutes of regular time at the Allianz last year after Thomas Muller had scored for Bayern and then converted the penalty that would see the Champions League Cup move to Stamford Bridge.

On the international scene, Drogba captained the Elephants to two separate African Cup finals in 2006 and 2012.

In 2006, His penalty was saved by Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al-Hadary as the Pharaohs won 4-2 on penalties. Six years later, he would face the same fate at the hands of surprise winners Zambia.

What’s he like off the pitch?

Drogba is internationally known for being a global ambassador for human rights, promoting the issue through the game.

His nation had been long engaged in a civil war for five years, but after the Ivorians had qualified for the World Cup in 2006, he sent an appeal to both sides to stop fighting. Shortly afterwards, both sides agreed to a ceasefire and moved an African Nations Cup to the rebel stronghold of Bouake, which was a confirmation of the start of the peace process.

His involvement in the process led him to be drafted into the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Committee to restore peace to his homeland.

In 2007, he was named a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. His charitable acts have had him named as one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2010.

Drogba has a charitable organisation called the Didier Drogba Foundation that raises funds for construction and welfare projects in Africa. In 2009, he donated £3 million – his signing on fee for endorsing Pepsi – to his foundation for the construction of a hospital in the capital of his nation, Abidjan.

The Drog was also one of the Olympic Torch bearers when the sacred flame was travelling around Great Britain. He carried it through the town of Swindon.

On the 31st of October, he was named Chelsea’s greatest player by the club’s fans.

Could he win the Golden Foot?

Drogba is a model sportsman, one who has shown selflessness and dedication both on and off the pitch.

They say actions speak louder than words and Didier Drogba’s actions have surely made him one of the favourites to win the award. And having his footprints on the Promenade of Champions in Monaco would show just how far African football has come.


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