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Drogba wins prestigious UEFA President’s Award

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Didier Drogba has been named as the recepient of the 2020 UEFA President’s Award.

The former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker was hailed as a “pioneer” by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

“Didier is a hero to millions of football fans for his achievements throughout his glittering playing career,” Ceferin said via a UEFA statement.

“I will remember him as a player for his skill, strength and intelligence, but above all for his insatiable appetite to succeed – a trait which is just as present in his desire to help others off the field of play.”

Drogba won the 2012 Champions League as part of a glittering career with Chelsea, in which he scored 164 goals in 381 appearances in all competitions and lifted four Premier League titles.

The former Ivory Coast international also scored his country’s first goal at a World Cup finals in 2006 and played at a further two tournaments.

Drogba, who retired in 2018 after a final season with Phoenix Rising, has been running a charitable foundation that has helped to build schools for disadvantaged children.

He has also been studying for UEFA’s Executive Master for International Players (MIP) programme.

“To have won a Champions League, to have played and scored for my country at a World Cup – these are things I could only have dreamed of when I was a child,” Drogba said.

Previous winners of the UEFA President’s Award include Bobby Charlton, Eusebio, Raymond Kopa, Johan Cruyff, Francesco Totti, David Beckham and Eric Cantona.