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. This is why Didier Drogba has always been a valued member of the Richard Mille family of men and women, athletes and artists, each committed to protecting and defending those in need, supported by the brand.
A watch aficionado and fan of the brand for many years, he quickly beat the record for goals of any of his compatriots from Côte d’Ivoire and 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 and Chelsea FC. 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. 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.
'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.’
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.’
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, my aim was to achieve peace and promote coexistence. This association is very much in my image, and fits with what I achieved as a football player, as the political the political neutrality of sport is appreciated by governments and States, which tend to be receptive.’