The early 2000s saw the rise of a new superpower in football that rapidly started to browbeat their contemporaries. Roman Abramovich had acquired Chelsea football club and the man wouldn't relent until he had the right personnel in every single department of the football club.
A month after the 'Special One' Jose Mourinho took charge of Chelsea, he roped in a player who would go on to write his name in the annals of Chelsea Football Club. Didier Drogba. A whip-smart modern-day striker who was as tough as nails, Didier Drogba, would lead Chelsea to unprecedented glory in the Premier League and in Europe.
Drogba delivered in his debut against Manchester United, setting up Eiður Guðjohnsen for the only goal of the game. He went on to score his first goal for Chelsea in his third game against Crystal Palace with a towering header.
Drogba's first season was slightly marred by a muscle injury but he ended his debut season in glorious fashion, winning the Premier League and the League Cup in what was also Mourinho's first season as the Chelsea manager.
He was one of the Blues' main men as they went on to retain the Premier League title in 2005-06 becoming only the second club to do so. The Ivory Coast international kicked on in the same vein and won the Golden Boot in the subsequent season, scoring 20 goals in the league and 33 across all competitions.
A man for the big occasion, Drogba hardly ever failed to deliver on the big stage. Drogba enjoyed an illustrious eight-year stint at Stamford Bridge and capped it off by leading from the front and scoring the goal in the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich before sending home the Blues' winning penalty in the shootout.
One of the most adored individuals among the Chelsea fanbase, Didier Droga received the warmest of welcomes when he visited India in 2018. Excitement among the Indian Blues at the venue reached a fever-pitch as they kept chanting the Chelsea legend's name relentlessly.
He was Chelsea Players' Player of the Year in 2007 and won Chelsea's Player of the Year award in 2010. He has also won the Premier League Golden Boot twice.
Didier Drogba has scored a total of 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea across two stints. His name is uttered in the same breath as some of the Premier League’s greatest goalscorers like Wayne Rooney and Thierry Henry. While Henry has scored a total of 228 goals from 377 games for Arsenal, Wayne Rooney has scored 253 in 559 appearances for the Red Devils.
An incredible athlete and a great human being famous for calling to stop a civil war in Ivory Coast and succeeding at it, Didier Drogba has transcended football and will forever be remembered as one of the Premier League greats.