The career of one of the most decorated African footballers has come to an end with former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba deciding to call it quits with the beautiful game at the age of 40.
The striker who last played for Phoenix Rising in the second tier of U.S football made the decision after his team lost in the USL Cup final to Louisville City.
Drogba is also a co-owner of the American football club.
According to BBC Sport, co-owner of Rising, Berke Bakay thanked Drogba for his “amazing contributions to the beautiful sport” after Friday’s loss.
Drogba scored a goal in each of the club’s three playoff matches en route to their first-ever USL Cup final.
“You have laid the foundation of something really special that we are all going to enjoy for many years to come,” tweeted Bakay.
Brother @didierdrogba . The city of Phoenix and @PHXRisingFC are proud of your amazing contributions to the beautiful sport!— Berke Bakay (@berkebakay) November 9, 2018
You have laid the foundation of something really special that we are all going to enjoy for many years to come!
Before the final, Bakay told BBC World Service that the now-retired footballer would be moving into the boardroom after retires.
Drogba scored 157 goals in 341 appearances during his first spell at Chelsea from 2004 to 2012, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Following moves to Shanghai Shenhua in China and Turkish side Galatasaray, where he won the Super Lig and Turkish Cup, Drogba returned to the Blues for the 2014-15 season, scoring seven goals in 40 appearances and helping Jose Mourinho’s side to the title.
He then had 18 months with Montreal Impact before joining the Phoenix.
He scored 65 goals in 104 appearances for the Ivory Coast and was named African Footballer of the Year twice.
Drogba’s stats as tweeted by Sporf:
😢 @DidierDrogba officially retires from football.— SPORF (@Sporf) November 9, 2018
🏟 679 Games
⚽️ 367 Goals
🇨🇮 104 Caps
🏆🇪🇺 1x UCL
🏆🏴 4x Premier League
🏆🏴 4x FA Cup
🏆🏴 3x League Cup
🏆🇹🇷 1x Süper Lig
🏆🇹🇷 1x Turkish Cup
🏆🇹🇷 1x Turkish Super Cup
🏆🌍 2x African POTY
👑 Ultimate big game player. pic.twitter.com/aKk3uAcDal