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7 former Chelsea stars you won't believe are still playing

Drogba is still playing at the age of 40
Drogba is still playing at the age of 40
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Naveen Ravi Joseph

Football fans always have a vested interest in players who represented their favourite club. For this reason, fans tend to keep an eye on the performance of these players even after they’ve left, especially when the departed players are fan favourites.

However, at a club like Chelsea where numerous players leave every summer, it becomes difficult to keep track of former players, even the ones whom the fans adored.

For example, Nicolas Anelka and Jose Bosingwa both represented Chelsea for four years. Fans of the club may remember that these players left Chelsea to join Shanghai Shenhua and Queens Park Rangers respectively. However, very few would know the final clubs these stars played for.

Anelka last played for Indian Super League club Mumbai City in 2015 and Bosingwa last played for Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor before they retired.

The players mentioned above have retired, so they are not part of our list. We are discussing former Chelsea stars who are still playing and may have eluded your attention.


#7 Yossi Benayoun (Maccabi Petah Tikva)

Benayoun has been playing in Israel for the last four seasons
Benayoun has been playing in Israel for the last four seasons

Yossi Benayoun is widely regarded as the greatest player to come from Israel. The midfielder joined Chelsea in 2010 from Liverpool after scoring 29 times in 134 times for the Reds.

However, at Chelsea, Benayoun found chances hard to come by due to severe competition for places and injury problems. He only played 24 games for the Blues and scored once while also spending one season on loan at Arsenal.

After leaving Chelsea in 2013, Benayoun played for West Ham and Queens Park Rangers in England before returning to his homeland in 2014 to play for Maccabi Haifa. In 2016, he joined Maccabi Tel Aviv and after one season he joined Beitar Jerusalem.

In 2018, he joined Maccabi Petah Tikva which is his fourth club in the Israeli Premier League in as many seasons. Now 38, Benayoun is still banging in goals in Israel.

#6 Samuel Eto’o (Qatar SC)

Eto'o joined Qatar SC this summer on a free transfer
Eto'o joined Qatar SC this summer on a free transfer

Samuel Eto’o was entering the twilight years of his career when he joined Chelsea in 2013 as a stop-gap solution for their striker woes. He scored 12 goals in 35 games for the club including a memorable hat-trick against Manchester United.

The Cameroonian left Chelsea after just one season and spent the first half of the 2014/15 season with Everton before playing the second half of the season for Sampdoria.

After leaving Sampdoria, Eto’o moved to Turkey and played for Antalyaspor. He scored 44 times in 77 games for the Turkish club and even acted as interim player-manager for a month after the coach was sacked.

He left Antalyaspor halfway through the 2017/18 season to join fellow Super Lig club Konyaspor but he was released at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old didn’t hang up his boots in the summer, instead, he joined Qatar Sports Club in the Qatar Stars League.

#5 Florent Malouda (FC Differdange 03)

Malouda played in India and Egypt before moving to Luxembourg
Malouda played in India and Egypt before moving to Luxembourg

Chelsea signed Florent Malouda from Olympique Lyon in 2007 and he was on the club’s books for six seasons. He played 228 games for the London club scoring 45 goals and assisting 43 more but didn’t feature in a single game in his final season due to a fall out with the club’s hierarchy.

The Frenchman left the club on a free transfer in 2013 to join Trabzonspor and a year later, he joined Ligue 1 side, Metz. After leaving Metz, Malouda moved to Indian Super League (ISL) club Delhi Dynamos and played there for two seasons. In between the two ISL seasons, he also went on loan to Egyptian club Wadi Degla SC.

Ahead of the 2017/18 season, after almost half a year without a club, the now 38-year-old joined Luxembourg club FC Differdange. Injuries restricted him at his most recent club but he still racked up 5 goals and assisted 3 more.

#4 Joe Cole (Tampa Bay Rowdies)

Joe Cole is also the assistant manager of Tampa Bay
Joe Cole is also the assistant manager of Tampa Bay

Joe Cole’s career went downhill after leaving Chelsea in 2010. The former England international joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2003 as the sixth signing of the Roman Abramovich era.

Cole played 281 games for Chelsea scoring 40 times from midfield and won seven trophies including three league titles. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2005/06 and also named the Chelsea Player of the Year in 2007/08.

In 2010, he left Chelsea upon the expiry of his contract to join Liverpool and that was the start of the fall for Cole. He was one of the infamous signings of the short-lived Roy Hodgson era and was sent off on his league debut for the Reds.

He spent a season on loan at Lille while he was contracted to Liverpool before joining West Ham permanently in January 2013. He went on to play for Aston Villa and later for Coventry City in the League One before moving to the US in 2016.

Cole joined American lower division club Tampa Bay Rowdies after leaving England and he still plays for the club. In 2018, he also took over as the club’s assistant manager.

#3 Ashley Cole (LA Galaxy)

Cole has been with LA Galaxy for over two years
Cole has been with LA Galaxy for over two years

Ashley Cole was one of the best left-backs in the world during his stint with Chelsea. Cole joined Chelsea in 2006 from rivals Arsenal in controversial circumstances and in eight seasons, he played 338 games for the club winning nine trophies including all major domestic trophies.

The former England international joined Roma on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract but in Italy, it became clear that his best days were behind him.

After a season and a half with Roma, he terminated his contract with the club due to lack of playing time and signed a new contract with MLS club LA Galaxy.

The 37-year-old still plays for LA Galaxy alongside stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Giovani dos Santos.

#2 Didier Drogba (Phoenix Rising)

Drogba is also the owner of Phoenix Rising
Drogba is also the owner of Phoenix Rising

Didier Drogba was one of the most influential players of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea. He joined Chelsea in 2004 from Olympique Marseille and scored 164 goals in 381 games in two stints combined.

The Ivorian first left Chelsea in 2012 after helping them win the UEFA Champions League. He joined Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua before returning to Europe with Galatasaray.

Drogba returned to Chelsea for the second time in 2014-15 as a backup to Diego Costa. After that season, he joined MLS club Montreal Impact and scored 23 goals in 41 games for the club.

After leaving Montreal Impact, Drogba was without a club for nearly four months before joining United Soccer League club Phoenix Rising. He also became an owner of the club and thus became the first ever player-owner in football history.

The 40-year-old still plays for Phoenix Rising and has so far scored 11 goals in 16 games for the club.

#1 John Terry (Free agent)

Terry is a free agent after leaving Aston Villa at the end of last season
Terry is a free agent after leaving Aston Villa at the end of last season

Former Chelsea captain John Terry is currently a free agent but he hasn’t retired from professional football yet. Terry is currently weighing up his options amidst interest from several clubs and if rumours are to be believed, then his next club could be Celtic in Scotland.

Terry, a product of the Chelsea academy, played 717 games for the Blues scoring 67 times. He won 19 trophies as the Blues captain before leaving the club in 2017 upon the expiry of his contract.

He joined Aston Villa last summer in the Championship to help them gain promotion to the Premier League and was named the club captain immediately. Terry helped Villa reach the Championship play-off final against Fulham which they lost 1-0.

After the defeat, he opted to leave the club instead of extending his contract. There were rumours that he would join his former teammate Frank Lampard at Derby County but that hasn’t happened.

It remains to be seen where the 37-year-old will end up but as things stand, his playing career is far from over.

Edited by Amar Anand
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