10 Greatest African Players of All Time

8. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Talk striking class in Africa, talk Didier Drogba!

There have been few, if any, healthier goal-poachers in Africa’s footballing history either than Didier Drogba. With his work ethic, rate of knots, muscle, capacity to win headers and readiness to run at defenders with the ball, Drogba poses the sort of danger that has defenders revising their defensive lesson notes after every game. You judge a striker by his goals. You judge Drogba by Drogba. That simple. Going solo is one of his trademarks, sometimes to the irritation and frustration of his team mates, though more often to their joyfulness, as he would often win a game all on his own. His aggression was matched by hardly any and whenever he received the ball with his back to the goal he immediately turned and attempted a “Goal of the Week” hit. His pure will and determination mixed with his marvellous abilities to hit the back of the net made him a true inspiration for his team mates and a fan-favorite wherever he would play. Deceptively quick and able to shoot with little waste motion were his noble joy. And by Christ, was he a saint at that. Drogba was a nightmare and lurid for opposing goalkeepers, was the forerunner, whom given the slightest chance, could often find a way to put the ball in the goal that cluded other strikers’ abilities. He never fits the conventional idea of a great footballer, but he holds the lethal acceleration over short distances, an extraordinary aerial game, and an uncanny goalscoring instinct. The Ivorian was one-of-kind player that was great in bulk force; he was a force of nature without anyone capable of stopping his tremendous physical power. Not only he was strong, he had a strapping shooting knotted with making goalies make a misery out of their careers in the last 30 metres. All his team mates have to do is nit a pass to Drogba. The rest of the story leaves fans thronging out of stadiums with never-ending smiles.

Club Honours: Premier League: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10: Football League Cup: 2004–05, 2006–07: FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10: FA Community Shield: 2005, 2009

Individual honours: Onze d’Or: 2004, UEFA Cup Top Scorer: 2004, Ligue 1 Goal of the Year: 2004, Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2004, Ligue 1 Player of the Year: 2004, Ivorian Footballer of the Year: 2006, 2007, African Footballer of the Year: 2006, 2009, Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year: 2007, Premier League Golden Boot: 2007, 2010, PFA Team of the Year: 2007, 2010, UEFA Team of the Year: 2007, ESM Team of the Year: 2007, FIFPro World XI: 2007, BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2009, West African Footballer of the Year : 2010, Chelsea Player of the Year: 2010, Time Top 100: 2010, Côte d’Ivoire all-time Top Scorer.

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