Didier Drogba Quits On Montreal, On MLS
Get the best email in soccer.
Though Montreal Impact coach Mauro Biello has yet to admit it, Didier Drogba has turned his back on his teammates. After losing his starting role to newcomer Matteo Mancosu, the former Chelsea star has only managed 10 goals in 22 games this season, Drogba only played in four of the team’s final seven games; starting two and coming off the bench in two more.
After learning he would be left out of the starting 11 following Montreal’s 2-2 draw with Toronto, Biello confirmed that the striker outright refused to accept his lesser role:
“Didier was not selected to start the game," Biello said. "I spoke with him yesterday [Saturday]. He did not accept to come off the bench. In the end he did not want to be in the 18. He said that he did not accept the fact that he was coming off the bench.”
Originally stating a sore back as the reason for Drogba’s absence, Biello went on to say that it wasn’t the whole story:
“There was tightness in his back, yes, but he was capable of playing,” added Biello. “The organization will have to handle this."
In anticipation of tonight's game, Biello added: “I need him. Coming off the bench, he can help this team. He has to help this team, not the other way around.”
But he should have set his expectations lower. Despite the Impact’s owner claiming things were resolved, Didier did not travel with his team in preparation for their do or die knockout round match against D.C. United.
Although Biello is back to using his stiff back as an excuse, it's clear that Drogba has walked out on his teammates and that the organization would like to keep it as quiet as possible. If Drogba is carrying a knock, it's obvious that he's simply protecting himself in anticipation of that rumored loan move to Italy.
So what does this mean for Drogba? Perhaps he will be able to make amends with his teammates and manager, however, it appears that the damage has been done. Despite Drogba being known for his charity work in his home country of the Ivory Coast, there is no excusing his behavior in this situation.
At 38 years of age, he should be totally committed to helping his club in the playoffs, and walking out on a contractual obligation is the last thing he should be doing to preserve his incredible legacy.
He will always be loved by Chelsea fans, but his legacy in MLS will come nowhere near that level.