On this day 15 years ago Chelsea agreed to play £24 million to Olympique Marseille for the Ivorian striker Didier Drogba… and the rest is history!
One of the greatest strikers ever seen in the Premier League, Didier Drogba became a member of Chelsea FC on July 19 back in 2004, taking a part in Roman Abramovich’s revolution at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivorian went on to win four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Champions League with the London Blues.
Drogba joined Chelsea in the same summer as Jose Mourinho and quickly became his favorite striker in the club.
Didier Drogba signed for Chelsea #OnThisDay in 2004. And things worked out pretty well…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) July 20, 2017
They won back-to-back titles in their first two years in England breaking the record for most points won in a single Premier League season, when they were crowned champions for the first time in 50 years in 2005.
During his time in top-flight English football, Drogba won the Premier League Golden Boot award twice, in 2006/07 and in the 2009/10 campaign – when Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues won a domestic double and became the first side to score over 100 goals in a single Premier League season.
He was named Chelsea’s Player of the Year for 2010, netting 37 goals across all competitions that season.
His total tally of 164 goals for the club made him the Blues’ all-time best non-English goalscorer. He is also Chelsea’s top scorer in the Champions League with 36 goals in the competition.
Didier Drogba in the finals
Didier Drogba’s record in the finals is really incredible. With nine goals, the Ivorian is Chelsea’s all-time best goalscorer in the Cup finals, opening his account in the 2005 League Cup decider against Liverpool, which the Blues won after extra-time.
In 2007 the striker became the only player in English football to ever both score in and win both domestic cup finals in the same season.
Drogba first bagged a brace in the League Cup final against London rivals Arsenal, securing a 2-1 comeback victory for the Blues and a few months later netted a 116-minute winner in the FA Cup final against Manchester United.
The Ivorian continued his streak, scoring the equalizer in a 2-1 victory over Everton in the 2009 FA Cup final, while made it six goals in five finals one year later, as Chelsea defeated Portsmouth retaining the title.
Drogba’s finest moments in the finals came in 2011-12, the last season of his first stint at Stamford Bridge.
On May 5 Didier scored his fourth goal in four FA Cup finals in the 2-1 victory over Liverpool, becoming the first player in English football to do so.
Happy birthday, Didier Drogba!
Big-game player 🏆🔵 pic.twitter.com/jfZHP9cuoh
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) March 11, 2019
Only two weeks later, the striker netted an 88-minute equalizer in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern, practically sending the game into extra-time. But the moment that will always remain in history came in the penalty shootout, when he scored the decisive spot-kick, winning the first European crown for the Blues.
Drogba returned to Chelsea in 2014, during the time of Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge and won another domestic double with the Portuguese manager.
He left the club for the second and final time at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. The Ivorian is the all-time African top goalscorer in the Premier League with 104 goals, while his 54 assists make his the all-time African top assists provider in English football as well.
What do you think about Didier Drogba’s time at Chelsea FC? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.