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Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (French pronunciation: [didje dʁɔɡba]; born 11 March 1978) is an Ivorian footballer who plays as a centre forward for Shanghai Shenhua. He is the captain and all-time top scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team (Ivory Coast). He is best known for his career at Chelsea, and has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's fourth highest goal scorer of all time. Following his career with Chelsea, in October 2012, he was voted by Chelsea supporters as the club's greatest ever player. His key attributes include his physical strength, ability in the air, and his ability to retain possession of the ball.
After playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans. A late bloomer, he signed his first professional contract aged 21; it was not until the 2002–03 season that he realised his potential, scoring 17 goals in 34 appearances in Ligue 1 for Guingamp. During the same season he made his first international appearance for Côte d'Ivoire, in September, and scored his first international goal the following February. He moved to Olympique de Marseille in 2003 for £3.3 million. His scoring success at Olympique de Marseille continued, finishing as the third highest scorer in Ligue 1 with 19 goals and helped the club to reach the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.
In the summer of 2004 Drogba moved to Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. In his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. In 2006–07 Drogba scored 33 goals, won the Premier League Golden Boot and scored the winning goals in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals. He won the FA Cup for a second time in 2009, scoring the equaliser in the final, and in 2009–10 was instrumental in Chelsea clinching their first double, winning his second Golden Boot and scoring the only goal in the 2010 FA Cup Final. In March 2012, Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal, the first African player to reach the milestone. He then became the only player in history to score in four separate FA Cup finals, when he scored in Chelsea's win over Liverpool in the 2012 final. He made his last appearance for Chelsea in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in which he scored an 88th minute equaliser and the winning penalty in the deciding shoot-out against Bayern Munich. Sir Alex Ferguson remarked: "As far as I was concerned, he [Drogba] won the Champions League for Chelsea."
A Côte d'Ivoire international since 2002, Drogba has captained the national team since 2006. He led the Côte d'Ivoire to the 2006 World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament, and also scored their first goal. He was named African Footballer of the Year in 2006 and 2009. Drogba was a part of the Côte d'Ivoire sides which reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012, but were beaten on penalties on both occasions. As of 2012, he is the Côte d'Ivoire's all-time top scorer.
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