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The 34-year-old striker has opted to leave on a high at the end of his contract, his last kick in a Blues shirt having been the Champions League-winning penalty in Munich.

Didier Drogba will leave Chelsea when his contract expires in June, both club and player have confirmed.

The 34-year-old, who joined the Blues from Marseille eight years ago for 24 million pounds, has revealed leaving the club was a tough decision to make but he believes he needed a new challenge elsewhere.

“I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea,” Drogba told the club’s official website. “It has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I am very proud of what we have achieved but the time is right for a new challenge for me."

The forward went on to praise the accomplishments of the team during his time in London, including finally winning the top club competition in Europe over the weekend.

“As a team we have accomplished so much and have won every single trophy possible," he said. “Saturday was a very special moment for everyone at the club and for all the fans, and I am very proud to have played my part in bringing many trophies to this club, which has been my home for the last eight years."

Drogba also took time to thank the club's owner, his teammates and the fans for making his time at the club as special as it was.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the club especially Roman and my teammates, many of whom have become very close friends and will be my friends for life," he said. “I would also like to say a very special thank you to the Chelsea fans who have shown me so much love and support over the years.

“I wish the club all the best and continued success for the future. You will always be in my heart.”

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