Didier Drogba: 100 Not Out

Andrew KearneyCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

WIGAN, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Didier Drogba of Chelsea celabrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Chelseaat DW Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Amidst all the fall out from the Wigan-Chelsea match, it seems to have passed relatively unnoticed that this game saw one Chelsea player reach a personal landmark.

Didier Drogba notched his 100th goal for the club, with a shot that went through Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland's legs. Drogba became only the ninth player in Chelsea's history to reach the 100 goal mark.

Drogba joined Chelsea in July 2004 for a-then record fee of £24million from Olympique Marseilles, where Drogba had been a key part in the French clubs run to the UEFA Cup final the previous season.

Drogba made his Chelsea debut against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in August 2004. Drogba claimed an assist, setting up Eidur Gudjohnsen for the only goal of the game. Drogba's first Chelsea goal came against Crystal Palace in September 2004, heading in a cross from Portuguese winger Tiago.

Drogba scored 16 goals in all competitions in his first season at Chelsea, firing the club towards victory in the Carling Cup (in which he scored in the final against Liverpool), the Premier League title and semi-finals of the Champions League.

The 2005/06 season was to prove a very controversial season for the big Ivorian striker. Drogba scored 16 goals once again, as Chelsea retained the Premier League title but this was not enough to keep Drogba out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Drogba suffered a lot of criticism from fans who felt he was prone to going down a bit too easily. This culminated in a game in April 2006 against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge when, despite scoring two goals in the game, Drogba was booed off the pitch by Chelsea fans. Worse was to follow, when in a post-match interview Drogba appeared to admit to handball for one of the goals he scored.

If 2005/06 had been difficult, the 2006/07 season was to prove to be Drogba's best ever in a Chelsea shirt. In total, Drogba amassed 33 goals that season including sublime strikes against Liverpool, Barcelona and Everton.

He scored two goals in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal, won the African Footballer of the Year award and the Premiership Golden Boot. Drogba also made history when he became the first player to score in an FA Cup final at the new Wembley Stadium against Manchester United.

But 2007/08 was to prove a frustrating season for the Ivory Coast captain, blighted by injuries. Drogba scored 15 goals, but was on the losing side in the Carling Cup final (despite scoring in his fourth consecutive final for Chelsea) and was sent off in the Champions League final. It has passed into Chelsea legend that John Terry's penalty miss was the one Drogba would have taken.

Another difficult season was to follow in the 2008/09 campaign. Dogged by injuries, emotions were further tensioned by constant press speculation about the strikers future and a reported falling out with manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Drogba was revitalised in the second half of the season following Scolari's replacement as manager by Guus Hiddink. Drogba finished on 14 goals for the season including the equaliser against Everton in the FA Cup final. This gave Drogba the enviable record of having scored six goals in six cup final appearances for Chelsea.

So far in the current campaign, Drogba has been in sparkling form with six goals in seven games. His goals will be vital if Chelsea are to push for honours this season.

Drogba's time in England thus far has been nothing if not eventful. Though never far from controversy, the Ivorian's talent as a striker is unquestionable. 100 goals in 218 appearances so far, here's hoping for 200.

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