Dynamite. Every great player needs a nickname, and this is the one I am picking for the formidable Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.
He made the headlines for good and bad reasons after an explosive performance in Chelsea’s 8-0 drubbing of Wigan Athletic during Sunday's season-finale in London.
Good, because his superb second-half hat-trick, which sealed his top-scorer status in the English Premier League, helped his side become champions for the first time since 2006. And bad, because his temper tantrum - which erupted after his request to take a penalty was rebuffed by his teammate Frank Lampard - showed his all-too-often criticized petulant manner.
Let’s start with the latter. Many pundits have damned the reigning African footballer of the year for his childish attitude, so let me be the first to defend the fiery forward.
As a coach you would love most players to be like Drogba. Players who want to win and players who want to assume the responsibility of taking penalties, scoring goals and doing the best for themselves and for the team. The question here is did he think of himself ahead of the team?
I don’t think so. If he were poor at taking penalties and seldom had that task, perhaps that argument could be made. However, considering he often takes spot kicks for club and country, and the Blues were already leading at Stamford Bridge, there was nothing wrong with his plea to be the man entrusted with the mission.
Should he have been so exuberant in his protest? Probably not, especially given that Carlo Ancelotti had ruled out anyone other than Lampard taking the spot kick if the occasion arose earlier in the week.
However, in the heat of the moment and because his desire to clinch the 'Golden Boot' ahead of England forward Wayne Rooney - who also had a record of 26 goals going into the final day - was so strong, his combustible emotions ignited.
An incendiary move which was, in my mind, understandable as uncertainty remained over how many more chances he would get in the match to score.
So let’s talk about the goals he netted on Sunday. Once again, Drogba proved that on his day, he is the top striker in the world.
Better than Rooney, Fernando Torres, or any other. He may be 32-years-old, but he is in the form of his life and is difficult, if not impossible to stop.
Without him, Chelsea would certainly have failed in their bid to win the title. Not only because of the 29 goals he scored, but because of the impact he had on every game he played and the space he created for all his teammates to shine.
So what can we expect from the talismanic African at the first World Cup on his home continent? Ivory Coast coach Sven Goran Eriksson recently told me that he is the heart and soul of the Elephants' side and as team captain is crucial for the team’s chances of making it past a tough opening group.
I expect him to score. I even see him getting a hat-trick against North Korea. I just hope he has a bad day at the office against my beloved Portugal.
Whatever happens, and however many goals he scores, there is one certainty; once again Didier "Dynamite" Drogba will be explosive.
Thank God you said it not an African or Chelsea supporter because I am both. My comments will lack credibility for those reasons but I believe and agree with every word you wrote.
im surprised no one is commenting, maybe because no body expect this Dynamite from Africa,if this is negetive stories about the continent everybody want to say sometin because you never stop at giving Africa bad names, UP Drogba !!!!!!
Really , he is a fantastic player !!! Every successful human being seems to have one weak side. His can be tolerated considering his tremendous contribution to his team.But if his behavior is shaped as well ...
His nickname is "The Drogs!". And he is the best striker in the world when he is in the mood.
up Chelsea!!! the BLues 4 live. i will 4ever love Chelsea till i die. every where has gone Blue. up Blues, up chelsea, up king of England.
that's the pride. Chelsea my religion, my pride.
I find this article a little underwhelming to be honest, for one thing the author's claim that Drogba frequently takes penalty kicks is a bit inaccurate. If I'm not mistaken he's taken 3 for Chelsea in the last 2 years, Lampard is by far the safer bet for spot kicks seeing as he scored 10 out of 11 this season alone (the 2nd highest on record).
That's taking nothing away from Didier's scoring prowess, but Lampard's decision was the correct one, putting the championship ahead of individual awards.
I also think the author's assessment that Chelsea would most definitely have failed without him to be inaccurate, seeing as the team won all 5 games in January without Drgoba, with Anelka stepping up and the team was scoring freely as well.
i absolutely agree with you. i believe he shouldn't have gotten so worked up about lampard getting to take the penalty, but it's understandable. there was no way of knowing how many scoring opportunities he'd receive, so it's only natural for him to try and get as many chances as possible. i'm a die-hard chelsea fan and love drogba, that being said, i don't think cote d'ivoire have what it takes to get past brazil and portugal to advance in the world cup.
i hate Chelsea but am happy that they have won the Premier league because i suppose that this shall motivate Drogba to give his best not only for the ivory coast but also for the continent. GO DROGBA GO
keep it up didier u are really son of africa
One man show is not enough...Ivory Coast they cannot play like as a team. To late to improve that...He plays beatifully at Chelsea because they play like a team.
Didier 'Dynamite' Drogba!
He certainly deseves all the Dynamic, 'Dynamitic' Dramatic accolades. Let's hope he does not dissappoints as usual on the International scene.
moderation for my comments..? .oh dear ...During the South African Champ, Ivory Coast played very badly..sorry
egoist, temperamental, and superb!!
You too much eh!!!
Drogba is a great skill worthy of mention by all great football fans all of the world. His goals comes from his willingness always to may an impact in every apearance either for his club or for his country. An inspirational enigma whose charismatic footings stands tall above so many great scorers.
His dynamism equals his dinamatic scoring and opponents of Ivory Coast in the world cup should watch out as their days are numbered.
Everybody has a character associated to his image either as a celebrity or a non celebirty so we need some responsible silence on that.
The football world should recognise his prowess now as the best in the world in the likes of Pele, Ronaldihno and Ronaldo
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, DIDIER DROGBA IS THE BEST STRIKER IN THE WORLD.
In fact, I am surprised that CNN published this piece of news showing something positive from an African continent, in short a black African son!. Weldone!!!
I agree with you Pedro. We need more petty, self centered, egotistical diving brats in the game. That way, we can elimante the rest of the "team" and just play one on one. Although, if it was just one on one, I'd still have brought on Lampard to take the penalty.
The match last night was outrageous to the MTU.. Drogba did good things and pushed the team to grab the Cup..without him Chelsea wouldn't be status it is now and he ignited a lot of paths that his teammates can follow to score as much as easier...
Drogba has been consistently consitent over the years. He is d definition of what a striker should be. Well done Chelsea. I hope my team, Arsenal, would give us to something to be happy about in the coming season.
please Gildrei, get a life!! with no offense. When was the last time you followed the EPL..come on!! see!! what happened sunday had none to do with protecting the championship. lampard is sometimes selfish and john terry aswell (not always). when Kalou at first braced against stoke city, why didn't he wanted him to take the penalty , then increase the chance for him to hat-trick. Even against City when drogba created the penalty, he didn't make any objection of Lampard taking it (even though he missed that crucia; goal that day). Look!! Lampard and Terry have made chelsea their home..on the website every where it's always going about Lampard & Terry (trust me , you don't know what's going in the dressing room). Why do you think they always wanna be the first to lift any trophy chelsea wins????????????????????????????????????????????? Even Ballack once had woords with both in the dressing room..And drogba is someone who can't swallow injustice , just like that and that was one of the main reason he wanted to leave Chelsea 2 years Ago..Like someone said in this chatroom..WHEN HE IS IN THE MOOD...................HE IS TERRIFIC..some call him "THE DROGS"..i call him the "SEAN CONNERY OF SOCCER" because how old how beter :-)
Dyna-can-not-drible is his name. The best is ETO'OOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Man utd fans were saying before the match that chelsea will loose or draw but i told them to rather think about stoke, i was right because we score more goals than they did. Iam happy for the team and for my Drogba for going home with a ball, a golden boot, and a league madal, i hope the prayers win double and go ahead to win the league for keeps, up blues fan worldwide, much luve.
Drogba is a lucky player and his country should pray he plays well in the world cupto advance them and not go out in the first phase. All this praises shoukd wait as there is the time to show us what he can do in front of the likes of Pele boys from Brazile. We waite and see. Good luck Drogba.
for me Drogba is A greet player i have ever seen.he want to Do all for chelsea, the word cup is on the way,my greet player is coming soon
Only few guys are commenting really! I am sure if the story is about drug pushers, terrorism, crimes, war, hunger, poverty, disease, everything that is evil some folks will put their nose.
Drogba has an enormous task in proving his country men wrong during the up coming world cup. most people in ivory coast think he gives his his best when playing for chelsea than when playing for his country. a case in point is during the cup of nations when he really struggled to score only to start scoring hat-tricks for chelsea immediately after. otherwise my whole heart goes to him. YES DROGBA GO! GO! GO!
No one is impossible to stop. this story sounded a bit one sided on how Drogba is the best striker in the world because he scored the most goals this season. just because he scored the most does not exactly mean he is the best. It also has to do with your character on and off the pitch, and your greed when your that close. Granted he scored again without the penalty kick but you can see the greed he posses when hes that close. Let it be fare competition. Good job Chelsea, next time Man U. There are plennty of other good strikers in the world. Lets not narrow it down to just one.
drogba is just prolific he got all what it takes to be called the best in the world at the moment.imagine being away to the african cup of nations for a month and coming back to be the leading goal scorer in the premiership which is the best in the world presently makes him unarguably the best striker in the world ahead of rooney and torres because he proved it. chelsea is more than powerful for english clubs they just have to try and maintain coaches rather than sacking every time they can still win the next championship because manchester is just managing but they are not what they used to be.bravo chelsea.
I think Lampard is selfish, because if Chelsea didn't have a goal, then may be i would've agreed with him, but still Drogba is professional soccer player and him also can score a penalty kick, since he is in Golden Boot race, he should've been taken the penalty kicks period. someone will say is a Team sports but still Drogba is part of the team with a mission, therefore all the players should assist him to achieved just that, !! GOLDEN BOOT !!.
Great article Pedro!
Drogba is an amazing stricker, but he also has the talent to snap during big crucial events. I.e his red cards vs Barcelona & Inter in the Champions League semi finals. He therefore does not think that much about his team mates and club with such an attitude. During the African cup in Angola, he has not been outstanding either. I hope he keeps in control in South Africa though as Ivory Coast's performances do depend solely on him!
Big up to u Mr Drogba, u have all my respect ...you're the best and i totally agree with someone calling u the Sean Connery of the foot ,cause the older you're getting , the stronger n dangerous you're becoming ...all i can say is "'u go boy "'
i must confess, i really wanted rooney to get the golden boot, but then drogba proved to be a dynamite after all GO DROGBA GO AFRICA.
Yes Drogda has what it takes to be the world best striker,any body in his shoes at that moment can behave more than the way he did.my joy is that atlist an Africa can have the golden boot.as for chelsea, there is no club like chelsea in the world this is the club can die for.
Thank you! thank you! you far too kind. I don't think he behave childishly. lets face it without him, it would have been very difficult for Chelsea to win the Premier League! I was a Chelsea fan when Jose was the trainer, but the way the treated him, made me follow him where ever he is coaching, but with Drogba still at Chelsea i still have some amount of love for the club.
I don't think if Drogba can emulate club,for the reason that in club the time spent with mates is shorter and footballers have different football cultures depending on the league and the club they play.what is needed 2 African players like Drogba is patriotism that will make them work hard.
To me Ghananians may do better than any African team.Ivorians should pass the hard group they are now though it tough indeed.
Man u are great .u make africans proud.good luck man.
The forthcoming World Cup is a fine platform for our footballing stars to shine and enhance their status. Didier Drogba is a huge talent. At the moment he is in form and is playing the best football of his life. He looks set to be a role model for young aspiring footballers in the entire African continent. Best wishes to the African Footballer of the year.
love him or hate him i think Drogs is the best striker in the world.To prove me right lets wait for the world cup in south africa in 27days time
I agree with most of you,am not too much of a Drogba fan but i think he deserves to be called anything better than BEST now.Imagine if he is from England in his situation right now,imagine how english press can make and destroy you if needs be.There are so many great strikers out there but for now,Drogba is the best.
Something is wrong with you guys.Ivory Coast have been having the best National Team in Africa since 1998.They have never won any trophy with their explosive players.Drogba or the Ivorian Team have never play well in an African Soil.This team lack the fighting spirit like Cameroon.Cameroon alway have a bad team but they are alway good regarding tournaments not like Ivory Coast.Looked at someone like Samuel Eto.He doesnt speak but only his titles do talk.He has won Champion League and even defeated Drogba in his own stadium and Barcelona.Titles speak louder guys.Ivory Coast National Team is like a paper Tiger.They are alway rated on papers but at the end they are nothing.We have been rating them since 15 years but have they taking any trophy NO:JUDGE FOR YOURSELF AND STOP BEING BLIND
I bet Didi will score not more than 3 goals in WC becos he'll not have Lampard/Cole(x2)/Essein/Anelka/Ballack to support him likes in Chelsea! Go England!
drogba is my man anytime
drogba! grogba!!grogba!!! waiiting to watch you at the world cup. then i can comment on you.
i don t really think we ll see more from him,he like his most team mates who are earning big in Europe dont really do the sacrifice when it comes to national side.
so it will be the old game of football,avoiding injuries and serving themselve for their European teams.
we the football fans from africa are not not proud of them,because we ve not yet seen what they have done,unless they prove us wrong in this world cup.
Eto is the man,shame on you Drogba,you ve done nothing for your country!
Just a few words on Lampard and Terry who I find like errant children in always hanging together, always together in presenting themselves as Chelsea's face to the world. And, always Dorgba gives them the space for them to do so. But, Terry and Lampard are not the heart of Chelsea; Drogba is. Ask Cech and Ballack their movements are very clear who is their leader.
Didier Drogba is the real thing; honest to a fault! If they calculated assists as they do in Lacrosse he'd be head and shoulders over the wild fat boar at Man U !
Well he has shown good stuff in Chelsea, will see in World Cup.
The idea that he got so upset over the pk for any reason other than his pursuit of the golden boot is rubbish. Lampard damn well better have taken that shot. "They were already ahead" is hardly any sort of argument. If that was the mentality of Chelsea us brits would have to bear another year of red flags and bloody ManU fans. Drogba is an asset but also a headcase.
True,trueeeeeeeeeeee, he is absolutely fantastic and the world will see.
DROGBA – 3rd captain and of attack
LAMPARD – 2nd captain and of midfield
TERRY – 1st captain and of defence
....this is how it always been since mourinho and will be the core of Chelsea FC for years to come.. Drogba can play till 38 yrs old with Ancelotti helping him
Eto has done more for his country than Drogba?
i think a small trip download the internet lane towards the wikipedia library would show how wrong u are !!
1stly, Drogba single-handedly stop the ongoing civil war in Ivory Coast by doing announcement during the match.
2nd, he sponsored the construction of a hospital in his hometown Abidjan
3rd, become goodwill embassador for UN
and many more from football point of view...
well,i lack words from all these anti-football.the writer made a good point.drogba is rated as the best free kick man for his country and chelsea,lampard would have given drogba the opourturnity to take that kick.the golden boot is every strikers dream at the end of the season so as the title.well,kudos for dynamite drogba for still scoring the the hat-trick later.eto is a good striker so as drogba.what brings all these criticis is when you are a club fanactic you always talk about the players in your club and criticise the others which is not good.for an example you are a madrid fan and you don't like man-u rooney if your club ends up buy rooney tomorrow what will you do?so lets appreciate good players and forget their countries and the clubs the play for.
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