Just-retired Drogba rules out ISL stint but open to coaching

Gurgaon: Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has ruled out the possibility of coming out of retirement and playing in the Indian Super League, saying there is nothing left for him to achieve in his illustrious career.

The 40-year-old Drogba drew curtains to his two-decade-long career on Thursday and a day after he came on a tour to India, raising hopes of thousands of his Indian Chelsea fans. But the former Ivory Coast international rubbished any such speculations, saying he is open to help Indian football in any capacity but not as an active player.

“I think there are other ways to encourage Indian football but I am not going to come out of retirement and play again,” Drogba said, ruling out any chance of turning up for any ISL side like other international stars did.

“Once you announce that you are done it’s good to try to stick to it. I have done and achieved everything in the last 20 years so I think it’s time for me to relax a bit,” he added. Drogba, however, said he is open to the idea of giving back to the game as a coach in near future.

“After 20 years of experience on the football pitch. I think I have learnt a lot playing around those big players, those big managers. So this is something I cannot write off,” he said. Drogba is in the country on a promotional tour as global ambassador of Yokohama Tyres, a sponsor of the English Premier League side Chelsea.

Asked if he was willing to invest his time and money in India in future, Drogba replied: “I haven’t thought about it. I don’t know,maybee, if the opportunity is right and everything goes according to plan then why not.”

This year’s Ballon d’Or, the prestigious annual football award, is scheduled for 3 December and Drogba rates France sensation Kylian Mbappe as a strong contender. “It would be nice to see Kylian Mbappe win. It would be refreshing but (Cristiano) Ronaldo is still there. The man is just unbelievable,” he said.  Drogba became a household name after Jose Mourinho signed him for a record deal in 2004 and the striker can’t thank his former manager enough for transforming his career.

“You guys know me at Chelsea just because of him (Mourinho). He decided to sign me and give me a chance to play in one of the biggest clubs of the world,” he signed off.