Cote D’Ivoire international Didier Drogba was in the top 10 of the 2012 Goal.com 50, the first African to emerge on the list, followed by his compatriot Yaya Toure, who finished at number 9.
Then former Chelsea star had a marvellous season, winning the Uefa Champions League with the London club and leading his national team to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations without conceding a single goal. However, things have greatly changed since he moved to Turkey after a futile spell in China.
Although his new club Galatasaray won the Turkish Super League and bowed out of the Uefa Champions League with a home win over Real Madrid, the 35-year-old striker may not be able to twist the arms of Goal.com voters based on such collective achievements.
Drogba’s form has considerably declined and his personal input to club and national team has been described as paltry by a number of pundits. The player himself has admitted the need to work harder to recover his onetime blistering form to be able to win more caps with the Elephants.
The two-time African footballer of the year was a shadow of himself at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa early this year. After their near miss in the 2012 Afcon final, many locals hung their hopes on the talismanic scorer to bring home the trophy that has long eluded the country’s best ever generation of footballers.
With a sad, sweaty face, Drogba shook hands with jubilant Nigerian footballers, congratulating them for their 2-1 win over the Elephants in the 2013 Afcon quarterfinals, admitting once more he might not be the one destined to win the trophy for Cote D’Ivoire.
Thereafter the striker and captain, who had been an indispensable hand t o the Elephants, was snubbed by the coach during the 2014 World Cup qualifying fixtures and he is yet to return to the outfit.
Drogba’s glories seem to have been absorbed by time in the absence of significant renewals. Fans still regard the player dearly, but mostly for what he has done some time ago and not in the 2012/13 season from which the 50 best soccer players will be selected.