Ivorian Didier Drogba, a former striker for Chelsea FC was invited at the summit as the UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. He is the founder of the Didier Drogba Foundation which provides financial and material support in both health and education to people in Africa. His foundation opened a school in Ivory Coast last year.
As he addressed YouthConnekt participants on Thursday, Drogba shared an inspirational talk to the youth on his football career.
He cited several challenges including his father who never wanted him to play football, succumbing to several injuries that affected him and discrimination in remuneration that African footballers abroad used to face in terms of contracts among others and urged the youth to work hard for their dreams.
“We are looking for respect, but we have to prove why we deserve it. All my life was full of challenges, but the challenges made me take the lead of my life. For you to succeed you need to work hard,” Drogba advised.
Born on 11th March 1978, Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian retired professional footballer who played as a striker.
He is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he has scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club’s fourth highest goal scorer of all time.
He was named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009.
An Ivory Coast international between 2002 and 2014, Drogba captained the national team from 2006 until his retirement from the Ivory Coast team and is the nation’s all-time top goalscorer with 65 goals from 105 appearances.
He led the Ivory Coast to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament, and also scored their first goal.
He later captained the Ivory Coast at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.
He was part of the Ivory Coast teams that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012 but were beaten on penalties on both occasions.
On 8 August 2014, he announced his retirement from international football.
In 2018, Drogba retired from professional football at the age of 40.
Afterward, on 11 December, he became Vice President of the international organization Peace and Sport.