Transfer news

Drogba: I'm leaving Chelsea

May 21, 2012
By ESPN staff

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has told his team-mates that he is leaving the club this summer and says he is preparing "for a great leap into the unknown" away from Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba
GettyImagesDidier Drogba's Champions League-winning penalty may have been his final contribution to Chelsea

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Drogba, 34, scored a dramatic late equaliser for the Blues in Saturday's Champions League final before netting the crucial penalty in the shootout as he ended the club's long wait for a maiden European Cup triumph.

But it seems the Ivory Coast international's decisive contributions in Munich were his last for the club, as he is planning "another adventure" after eight years in West London.

"We (he and his team-mates) will not be together next season," Drogba is quoted as telling France Football magazine. "As I have decided to leave, I wanted to tell them to their faces.

"They made me break down. I found it hard to admit that it was finished with me and the club. But I don't envisage sitting on the bench watching others play at a time when the club is looking at putting together a new team.

"So there we go, I am readying myself for a great leap into the unknown. It will be another adventure."

Drogba's team-mates chanted for him to stay in front of jubilant Chelsea fans following Sunday's victory parade, but the striker's future now appears certain to be elsewhere.

He has been heavily tipped to join former strike partner Nicolas Anelka in China, where the Frenchman is currently player-manager at big-spending Shanghai Shenhua.