Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has announced plans to retire from football at the end of the season.
The 39-year-old, who is currently playing for USL side Phoenix Rising in the United States, is to devote his time to 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.
“Ah, do you want a scoop? I think next year will be my last season,” Drogba told RMC Sport.
“At some point, you have to stop. I need to have time for my other projects. It’s good to play, but at 39, it holds me back a bit.”
Drogba, the Ivory Coast’s record goalscorer, had two spells with Chelsea, the first spanning eight years and culminating with victory in the 2012 Champions League final.
Playing against Bayern Munich at their own Allianz Arena, he scored the winning penalty in the Stamford Bridge side’s 4-3 shoot-out victory after getting their equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
His initial stay in London coincided with one of the most successful periods in Chelsea’s history, during which they also won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
After returning for a year in 2014, Drogba ended his time there having scored 164 goals in 381 games in total for the club and was voted as their best player of all time by fans in a poll five years ago.
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