Didier Drogba has announced his retirement from professional football.
The Chelsea legend will finally hang up his boots in 2018, bring his 20-year professional career to an end.
After leaving Montreal Impact following the end of the 2016 Major League Soccer season, Drogba, 39, became the first player-owner in the history of the game when he took over United Soccer League outfit Phoenix Rising FC in 2017.
The 2012 Champions League winner scored 10 goals in 14 regular season games to help his franchise into the USL playoffs. It was in the playoffs that they lost to eventual championship runners-up Swope Park Rangers.
Sometimes referred to as Didi, the Ivorian’s professional debut was at Le Mans in 1998.
Drogba believes he has another season left in him, but the ex-Ivory Coast international acknowledged it will be his last.
“I think next year will be my last season. There comes a time when you have to stop,” said Drogba.
The Ivorian is reportedly aiming to follow in David Beckham’s footsteps and attempt to launch his own MLS franchise.
“I need time for my other projects. It’s good to play, but at 39, it holds me back a bit”.