It has been among the worst kept secrets in British football but Chelsea have confirmed Didier Drogba will leave the club this summer.
There have been plenty of critics for Drogba over the years but any Chelsea supporter will tell you – even before his Champions League final heroics – that he is a club legend.
The stats don’t lie and the Ivory Coast striker leaves Chelsea having scored 157 goals in 341 appearances.
He is the club’s fourth all-time highest scorer, his 34 goals in European competition is a Chelsea record by 10 goals, and his nine strikes in nine cup finals has contributed immensely to the most successful period in the club’s history.
He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two Carling Cups and now, in the most dramatic and glorious of circumstances, the Champions League.
He has been named Chelsea’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year and won the Premier League Golden Boot twice.
Drogba has become an icon of the club and the desire that has led to sustained success over the past eight years.
He wears his heart on his sleeve and no one can ever doubt his love for the club, to coin a cliché Drogba bleeds blue.
Regardless of how good the likes of Thierry Henry have been for the Premier League, any central defender will tell you facing Drogba was their biggest challenge and the Premier League will be weaker without him.
Paris Saint-Germain play in a different financial league to everyone else in France yet it still wasn’t enough to secure the Ligue 1 title this year.
Montpellier, for the first time in their history, and with a one-time Portsmouth bit-part player John Utaka leading the charge, claimed the title with a final day win over Auxerre.
A club which spent just £3m this summer proved too good for Carlo Ancelotti and his band of mercenaries.
So where does this leave the former Chelsea boss? He took over with the club top of the league but that wasn’t enough to save Antoine Kombouare’s job.
Surely failing to claim the title despite a blank chequebook will be enough to see Ancelotti get the boot.
It would certainly be a short-sighted decision but given propensity for rich owners to demand instant success, failure to see off one of the smallest budgets in the league will surely put paid to Ancelotti.
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