• A man of heart above all else
• A football legend
• Founder of the Fondation Drogba and vice-president of the association Peace and Sport
Didier Drogba the man is much more than an international football star. Off the pitch, Didier is a man of great heart and great commitment: a standard bearer for peace, especially through his actions on behalf of his Fondation Drogba. The brand is proud to welcome this talented and generous figure to the Richard Mille family.
A watch aficionado and fan of the brand for many years, the Côte-d’Ivoire record holder for goals scored is considered one of the best offensive players to this day. A player who enjoyed the unequivocal admiration of supporters from the very first, he played for some of the world’s greatest teams, including l’Olympique de Marseille, Chelsea FC, the Shanghai SIPG Football Club and Galatasaray SK. His most successful years took place with the Chelsea Blues, whose jersey he wore in their four Premiere League titles, four FA Cups and victory in the UEFA Champions League. ‘I’m a fan who was given a jersey. Exchanging with supporters and being loved by fans has been the greatest thing about my career’, he humbly confesses. In April 2017 he joined Phoenix Rising FC in USL, North America’s second division, as player and owner – he helped them reach USL finals before retiring in November 2018.
Behind the player worshipped by legions of fans is a man even more respected for his personal commitments. Some may recall the 8th of October 2005, when war-torn Côte-d’Ivoire qualified for its first World Cup in the country’s history. Didier Drogba spoke out on live television, exhorting everyone to ‘cohabitate and play together for a shared goal. A country with so much wealth cannot succumb to war. Lay down your weapons.’
Determined to express his deepest convictions, he created his own non-profit in 2007. This foundation has the mission of undertaking ‘sustainable action, something that does not die.’ Based on this principle, its actions have diversified, but always in the background is the importance of contributing to greater peace in his own country and on the African continent. Among its initiatives are the construction of a paediatric outpatient centre in Abidjan, the building of a school in partnership with Nestlé in Gagnoa, the creation of an original medial vehicle ‘The Heart Mobile’ dedicated to identifying cardiovascular illnesses in Côte-d’Ivoire, support for sustainable agriculture and more. ‘Thanks to my career, I had the opportunity to travel almost everywhere in Africa. What struck me most was the lack of access to health services and education.’ At the Foundation, our goal is to give populations the means to become autonomous, which is a crucial aspect for development in a community.
It is, therefore, no surprise to learn that Didier Drogba also serves as vice-president for the non-profit Peace and Sport. ‘For more than a decade, I have been working to achieve peace and promote coexistence. This association is very much in my image, and fits with what I have achieved so far as a football player, as the political neutrality sport is appreciated by governments and States, which tend to be receptive.’
Talented and famous football player yesterday, man on the ground, working on behalf of peace and altruism today, Didier Drogba has joined the Richard Mille family of men and women, athletes and artists, who are committed to protecting and defending those in need, supported by the watchmaking brand.