Didier Drogba has confirmed he will leave the Montreal Impact when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The striker joined the MLS franchise in 2015 and scored 11 goals in as many games during his first season – while this campaign he has bagged another 10 in 23 appearances.
On Tuesday evening Montreal won the first leg of the Eastern Conference final against Toronto FC 3-2 and after coming off the bench to play his first game since September, the 38-year-old announced that it would be his last in front of the crowd at the Olympic Stadium in Canada.
As reported by Goal, Drogba told reporters after the match: “My contract ends at the end of the season and I won’t be returning.
“I want to end things well, out of respect for everything the people here, the city, have given me. I was disappointed with the result, but we will do everything to qualify to the final. I don’t think the adventure will end in Toronto.”
Drogba is yet to win any silverware during his time in Montreal – though was named in the 2016 All-Star team – and is targeting this year’s MLS Cup as a farewell gift to the team.
He continued: “I had one and a half years of good emotions. I think we made history. And when I came I here for the first time, last season we played against Columbus in the semifinal and this year we’re in the conference final, so it’s a good progress.
“I’m quite happy with the way things are going and I think I kind of reached the target, but there’s still more work to do. There’s still 90 minutes to play and a lot of things will happen in those 90 minutes. I hope we’re going to be happy by the end of it.”
Drogba, a winner of four Premier League titles and one Champions League with Chelsea, was regarded as one of the world’s best strikers during his time at Stamford Bridge.
Before moving to MLS last year, he reunited with manager Jose Mourinho in West London for one season after spells at Turkish giants Galatasaray and Shanghai Shenhua in China.
Montreal captain Patrice Bernier added: “Didier brought so much on the field, off the field, with his leadership and experience and he brought a human factor as well.
“It was great to get to know him more. I was happy the club honored him after the game. But it’s not over yet — there’s still one or maybe two games to play.”
Drogba becomes the third former Premier League star to announce his departure from MLS this season after ex-Blues teammate Frank Lampard and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard confirmed they would be leaving New York City FC and LA Galaxy, respectively.
This post has already been read 713 times!