With these words, former Chelsea and Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba has confirmed his retirement as a footballer.

When I think of the last 20 years of my professional career, looking at this picture can't make me more proud of what I've achieved as a player but most importantly how this journey has shaped me as a man.

If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into reality. #alwaysbelieve

I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind!!!

Also a huuuuge [sic] thank you and love to my family, my personal team for supporting me all my career during the ups and downs no matter what.

Looking forward to the next chapter and hoping God will bless me as much as he did for my football career.'

Drogba posted this on Wednesday evening alongside a picture of him as a youngster on his social media accounts.

The farewell message draws the curtain on a career that saw him score 164 goals in 381 appearances over two spells with Chelsea.

With the London club he won the Premier League four times and the Champions League in 2012, as well as four FA Cup triumphs and three League Cup victories.

The 40-year-old had been playing this season in the United States with Phoenix Rising, the second-tier club where he is a co-owner.

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