It was déjà vu at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Didier Drogba made his final appearance for Chelsea for the second time in his career.
Once again he left on a high with the Ivorian given a start and the captain’s armband with the Premier League trophy already assured.
In what was a pre-conceived plan after 30 minutes Drogba’s number was raised on the board of the fourth official and the whole ground stood as he was substituted for his natural replacement Diego Costa.
As he started to walk off he was applauded by Sunderland as the Chelsea players literally carried him off the pitch in triumph.
Drogba looked faster and sharper in his final appearance than he has all season but this season was the right time to go. It was always going to be tough to top what he achieved in 2012 but at 37 years old it was clear at times that time was catching up with him.
He is not as quick as he used to be and looked a little laboured but he still played his part in a successful season. Although a bit part player on the pitch he will have undoubtedly contributed off the pitch, inspiring and mentoring the younger players in the Chelsea squad.
Drogba will not be retiring and will look to play at another club.
This is not surprising as despite not being quite at the level required for Chelsea, his talent and eye for goal have not diminished. Despite only starting a handful of games he still scored seven goals including key ones against Manchester United and Leicester City.
Drogba leaves Chelsea having scored 164 goals which puts him fourth in the list of all time Chelsea goal scorers. He also adds a fourth Premier League winners medal to his collection with the adulation of the Chelsea fans assured.
This time though there will be no sentimental return as the curtain comes down on the Ivorians career.
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