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Top 10 late-bloomers in the history of sports

Santhosh S R
ANALYST
Modified 07 Apr 2015, 18:14 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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#2 Didier Drogba (Football)

It was only upon his arrival at Chelsea, when he was aged 26, that Didier Drogba’s career really took off.

Hailed by Chelsea fans as the club’s greatest player ever, Didier Drogba made his professional debut at the age of 18 for a second division French club, Le Mans. However, his career never really took off till he signed up for Chelsea in 2004, aged 26. 

While he is the highest goal scorer for his country with 65 goals in 104 appearances, Ivory Coast, it is for his achievements in the English Premier League, playing for Chelsea, that he is most famous. He is the club’s fourth highest goal scorer and holds the distinction of being the highest foreign goal scorer for the club. 

His first stint with Chelsea lasted eight years long, from 2004 to ‘12. He appeared for Chelsea 226 times in the period, scoring 100 goals. He was voted the African Footballer of the year twice, once in 2006 and again in 2009, in this time period. 

Upon the expiry of his contract with Chelsea in June 2012, he signed up for Shanghai Shenhua before moving to Galatasaray the following year, before returning home to Chelsea in 2014. Upon returning to Chelsea, he remarked that he couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work with Jose Mourinho, Chelsea’s coach, again. The latter too expressed his pleasure at the return of Drogba to Chelsea. 

Even at 37, Drogba continues to command respect from the football community and is still counted among the best strikers in the world. 

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Published 03 Apr 2015, 17:41 IST
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