In a move that many suspected when the Ivorian, Didier Drogba signed a one year deal to return to the Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the 36 year olds future lies with the Club.
“It is a return to stay. No longer will there be more Drogba in China or Drogba playing at Galasaray. Drogba will be a coach or assistant youth football team or the main ambassador of Chelsea or assistant director of sports”
“There will be a role for him what he wants. He is a player who Mr. Abramovich wants at the club”.
The Chelsea striker is undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever to play for the club. The former Marseille man is the fourth highest goal scorer of all time for the London club. He has scored the most goals of any non English player ever to play at the club.
It is no surprise that the Chelsea hierarchy want the veteran at the club, as an ambassador for the growing Chelsea brand. The former African player of the year was voted by the club’s supporters as the club’s greatest ever player in October 2012.
A non playing role at the club was inevitable, as the Ivorian is a loved figure at the Bridge; his teammates and even current manager have only good things to say about him;
“.. Didier is a special person. And I repeat if I may: person. I could say player of course- an unbelievable one- but above all, his impact on the world at the moment as a person; as an African, as an emperor of the Ivory Coast, as a father, and as a son and friend. And some of us have the privilege to have him in our lives.” – Jose Mourinho on Drogba
Didier Drogba would make a perfect ambassador and will do a lot to raise the club profile in every part of the world. The former Shanghai Shenhua forward is a Goodwill Ambassador appointed by the United Nations Development programme and helped end the civil war in Ivory Coast after five years of incessant fighting.
After Ivory Coast qualified for the 2006 world Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants asking them to lay down their arms and later helped move a Nations cup qualifier to rebel stronghold of Bouake, a move that helped confirm the peace process.
The father of three, is not lacking in the influence every Ambassador needs, as he was named one of the world’s most influential people by Times magazine in 2010.
Even the Vatican recognized the Ivory Coast Legend after Chelsea’s Champions league victory of 2012. The Vatican’s sports office paid tribute to the ageing striker;
“the Vatican and the Holy father is always interested in such athletes as they are role models for others” -Father Kevin Lixey, Director of the Vatican office of Church and Sport told CNN about Drogba”
Chelsea fans will be thankful, to have an actual legend remain with the club for the Long term. Drogba still has a lot to contribute to the Blues… even in a non-playing capacity.