July 27, 2021

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Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba lands UEFA President’s Award

2 min read

Didier Drogba has been selected to receive the 2020 UEFA Presidentโ€™s Award.

The former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker was hailed as a โ€œpioneerโ€ by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Drogba fired Chelseaโ€™s winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final shoot-out, steering the Blues to four Premier League titles and as many FA Cup triumphs across nine years in two Stamford Bridge spells.

The 42-year-old recently failed in a bid for the Ivory Coast presidency, but has a thriving charitable foundation and is now aiming to move into football administration.

โ€œDidier is a hero to millions of football fans for his achievements throughout his glittering playing career,โ€ said Ceferin.

โ€œHe is a leader โ€“ a pioneer. I will remember him as a player for his skill, strength and intelligence, but above all for his insatiable appetite to succeed โ€“ a trait which is just as present in his desire to help others off the field of play.

โ€œThe UEFA Champions League has become the greatest club competition in the world, partly due to our clubs being able to attract the best players from around the world.

โ€œWe have been lucky to have seen the likes of George Weah, Samuel Etoโ€™o and Didier Drogba play at the very highest level. They in turn, have blazed a trail for African footballers and have given inspiration to a whole new generation to look to follow in their footsteps.โ€

Drogba will collect his award at Thursdayโ€™s Champions League draw in Geneva.

He racked up 164 goals in 381 appearances in a trophy-laden Chelsea career, while also helping his country to three World Cup tournaments.

โ€œTo have won a Champions League, to have played and scored for my country at a World Cup โ€“ these are things I could only have dreamed of when I was a child,โ€ said Drogba.

โ€œThere are so many children in the developing world who have the potential to become not only footballers, but also doctors, teachers and engineers.

โ€œThis is why it is so important to help and support our youngsters to let them fulfil their dreams and aspirations.โ€

Balancing his charity work with studying for UEFAโ€™s executive master for international players (MIP) programme, Drogba continued: โ€œI had been thinking, โ€˜how can I keep having the same impact without playing, without using my physique, my legs and my heart?โ€™

โ€œThe best way was to use my brain and think about how to stay in football and go into administration.

โ€œThat is why I am here โ€“ to get all the tools and skills needed to improve not only as a person but as an ambitious man who wants to contribute to the development of football.โ€

7 thoughts on “Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba lands UEFA President’s Award

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