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Didier Drogba Confirms He'll Retire From Playing After Phoenix Rising's USL Season

Didier Drogba will remain part of the Phoenix Rising ownership group, which is attempting to secure an MLS expansion franchise.

Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba will retire from professional football when his upcoming season with Phoenix Rising ends.

Drogba played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2012 and then again during the 2014/15 campaign. The ex-Ivory Coast international made a combined 381 appearances for the Blues, scoring 164 times.

During his time at the Premier League side the striker won 14 trophies, including four Premier League titles and FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League in 2012.

He currently plays in America with Phoenix Rising, who he joined in 2017, and has appeared 14 times, netting 10 goals. However, Drogba has now revealed he plans to end his 20-year career when the upcoming season with the club finishes. 

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According to Telefoot via ESPN, the 40-year-old said: "It's really a pleasure for me to play. I started late at the top level. I really enjoy playing. I like my role of owner-player a lot. I'm surrounded by a lot of youngsters, and I like passing my know-how on to them. But this season is the last. I'm 40, it's time now."

Drogba also opened up about his hopes of returning to former club Marseille in a non-playing role after he retires. The striker played for the French club during the 2003/04 campaign, scoring 32 goals in 55 outings. 

He continued: "We'll have to see what is offered. I'm always ready to help. In any case, Marseille are showing good things this year. Rudi Garcia's project is taking shape, they're building a team with young players. 

"It's excellent to stay in the top three with a team like that. As a fan, I have a lot of faith in them."