Didier Drogba has revealed that he turned down the chance to return to Chelsea again this summer – because he is committed to helping Ivorian football.
Blues legend Drogba, 41, scored 180 times in 381 appearances for the west London outfit during two glittering spells at the club.
During his first stint at Stamford Bridge, between 2004 and 2012, Drogba won the Premier League three times before returning to lift the trophy again in the 2014/15 campaign.
The striker, who retired from playing last year, also has four FA Cup, three League Cup and a Champions League winner’s medal from his Chelsea days.
And Blues boss Frank Lampard wanted to tap into that winning mentality and bring his former teammate back to the club.
But ex-Ivory Coast international Drogba politely rejected the offer, despite it being “perfect”.
“I had an offer to stay at Chelsea where everything would be perfect and conditions are met,” Drogba said.
“But I want to help Ivorian football because I love it!
“I am a leader, and my vision is bigger than just the simple role of being a coach. A coach has an impact on a club – but I want to have an impact on an entire nation.
“I want us to re-think football, with a nationwide vision, so we can develop the game here. The Ivory Coast has a glorious footballing past.
“The funds are in place, together with talent and potential, but they are under-exploited.
“There are some very competent people in the Ivory Coast who can work with me on this project.”