BY Josh Odoi, 2:19pm August 11, 2014,

Drogba Announces Retirement, Ivorian Federation Surprised

Didier DrogbaIvorian football legend Didier Drogba (pictured) announced, after 12 years and more than 100 caps with the national team, that he is retiring from the international team.

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In a statement, Drogba said, “It’s with much sadness that I’ve decided to retire from international football.”

The 36-year- old added, “I’m proud to have captained this team for eight years and to have contributed to putting my country on the world stage.”

The Ivorian federation seemed surprised by the announcement, even though back home in Cote D’Ivoire, many fans reportedly saw this coming, and the Elephants were reportedly already preparing for life after Drogba.

During the last World Cup, Drogba was used as a substitute, with former World Cup coach Sabri Lamouchi adding that Drogba was not their best striker option. In past World Cups (2006 and 2010), Drogba was a starter and captain of the team.

Drogba’s relegation to the bench was seen by many pundits as a sign of an impending overhaul of the team. And indeed, Football Federation President Augustin Sidy Diallo, whose outfit seemed unamused by Drogba’s retirement announcement, admitted that new manager Herve Renard‘s job is to completely overhaul the squad.

With Drogba definitely having a solid football career in the past 12 years, many see his national team performance as an underachievement. Still, Drogba will be remembered as one of the West Africa nation’s greatest players.

In addition, his timing for quitting will serve the country better as they transition to rebuilding the team for future assignments.

Meanwhile, this departure will allow him to concentrate on his new role with Chelsea, where he has won everything from Champions League to Premiership titles.

The Ivory Coast will forever remain grateful to this African icon who acted as a peacemaker during his country’s brutal armed conflict. His contributions have helped lead to the peace enjoyed by many in the country today.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018

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