Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (born 11 March 1978 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire) is an Ivorian, who plays in the centre forward position. He currently plays for Chelsea in the English Premier League and is the captain and all-time leading scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team. He has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's 8th highest goal scorer of all time.
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 but 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 and his prolific ways continued, finishing as the third highest scorer in the league with 19 goals and making it to the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.
Drogba moved to Chelsea the following season for a record breaking fee of £24 million, making him the most expensive Côte d'Ivoire player in history. In addition, Drogba scored decisive goals in the 2005 FA Community Shield and League Cup Final and helped the club win their first ever Premier League title. Drogba came to prominence as one of the world's foremost strikers in 2006 as he won the league title with Chelsea again and captained the national team for the first time. In the 2006 World Cup he scored Côte d'Ivoire's first ever goal of the competition and he was chosen as the 2006 African Footballer of the Year. The next season he finished as top scorer in the 2006–07 Premier League with 20 goals and also scored the winning goals in the 2007 League Cup and FA Cup finals.
Didier Drogba was born in Côte d'Ivoire and at the age of five he was sent to France by his parents to live with his uncle, Michel Goba, a professional footballer. However, Drogba soon became homesick and returned to Abidjan after three years. His mother nicknamed him "Tito", after president Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia whom she admired greatly. He played football every day in a car park in the city but his return to Côte d'Ivoire was short lived. Both of his parents lost their jobs and he again returned to live with his uncle. In 1991, his parents also travelled to France, first to Vannes and then settling in 1993 at Antony in the Paris suburbs, at which point the 15-year-old Drogba returned to live with them and his siblings. It was here that he began playing team football more frequently, joining a local youth side.
Drogba is married to Alla, a Malian woman whom he met in Paris, and the couple have three children together. His eldest son, Isaac, was born in France in 1999. He has two younger brothers who are also footballers: Joël and Freddy Drogba. Freddy, 17, is currently in the youth system of French side Le Mans. On 24 January 2007, Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Goodwill Ambassador. The UNDP were impressed with his previous charity work and believed that his high profile would help raise awareness on African issues. Drogba's charity work continued when, in late 2009, he announced he would be donating the 3 million GBP signing on fee for his endorsement of Pepsi for the construction of a hospital in his hometown of Abidjan. This work was done through Drogba's recently created "Didier Drogba Foundation" and Chelsea announced they too would donate the fee for the deal toward the Foundation's project. Drogba decided on building the hospital after a recent trip to the Ivorian capital's other hospitals, saying "...I decided the Foundation's first project should be to build and fund a hospital giving people basic healthcare and a chance just to stay alive."
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