Didier Drogba announces plan to retire from football next year

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The 39-year-old - who scored some 164 goals over two spells with the Blues and helped them win the 2012 Champions League final - is now playing for American club Phoenix Rising in the second-tier United Soccer League, where he is a co-owner.

Drogba is now with Phoenix Rising, where he is also a part-owner, and has admitted that age is finally catching up with him when asked about the retirement question this week.

After moving to Chelsea in 2004 Drogba established himself as one of the top strikers in world football, his strength and goalscoring prowess setting him apart from his rivals. He made 381 appearances for the London side and scored 164 goals in all competitions, with majority coming in key fixtures.

The pinnacle of Drogba's Chelsea career was certainly winning the Champions League.

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Drogba made the revelation in a chat with RMC Sport, saying that he's got to the stage where he needs more time for other projects.

Drogba only signed for Phoenix in April and has scored 10 times in 14 appearances, bringing his career total to 296 goals in 677 appearances. I need time for my other projects. "It's good to play, but at 39 [age] holds me back a bit".

The Ivory Coast all-time top-scorer has repeatedly been linked with a move back to Stamford Bridge in a non-playing capacity, it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

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