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Didier Drogba

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 20:39, 29 September 2007 (UTC).2 National team caps and goals correctas of 4 January 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

Following a downturn in economic conditions, he returned to live with his uncle in Dunkerque, though he continued to move around France as a youngster. It was at this time that he began to play football. In 1991 his parents also travelled to France, first to Vannes and then in 1993 settling at Antony in the Paris suburbs, at which point the 15-year-old Drogba rejoined his family. He signed for local club Levallois, where he rose through the ranks, playing for them in National 2, the fourth french level, aged 18.

Signing for Chelsea in July 2004, Drogba adapted well to the FA Premier League, scoring in his third game for the club with a thunderous header against Crystal Palace. His season was interrupted when he pulled a stomach muscle against Liverpool, which kept him out of action for over two months. Despite this he enjoyed the second best goals-to-minutes ratio in the Premier League, Thierry Henry being the only player to better him in this respect. He scored 16 goals in 40 games for Chelsea in his first season (10 in the Premiership, 5 in the Champions League, 1 in the Carling Cup final), but was criticized for being inconsistent.

The season proved very successful for Chelsea as they won the Premiership, only their second English top-flight championship and their first in 50 years, and the Carling Cup, with Drogba scoring in extra time in a 3-2 final win against Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium. He played an important part in his team's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where he scored a brace against ex-club Marseille's arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain and another two goals in both legs of the quarter-final against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea went on to retain the league title with two games to play, becoming only the second team to win back-to-back English Premier League championship titles. Ultimately, Drogba finished the 2005-06 season as the top assist provider in the Premier League, with 11 assists according to Actim Stats. Again he scored 16 for the season (12 in the Premiership, 2 in the Community Shield, 1 in the Champions League and 1 in the FA Cup).

After the departure of Damien Duff to Newcastle United, Drogba switched from the number 15 shirt he had worn for Chelsea since 2004 to the number 11 shirt vacated by Duff. The season was a personal success for Drogba as he hit 33 goals in all competitions (more than his tally in the previous two seasons combined), including 20 in the Premier League to win the Golden Boot. In doing so, he became the first Chelsea player since Kerry Dixon in 1984-85 to reach 30 goals in a season. The breakdown of his 33 goals is; 20 in the Premier League, 6 in the UEFA Champions League, 3 in the FA Cup and 4 in the Carling Cup (League Cup).

His transfer from Olympique de Marseille to Chelsea in July 2004 is one of those about which the Stevens inquiry report in June 2007 expressed concerns because of the lack of co-operation from agents Pinhas Zahavi and Barry Silkman.


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