Even retired, Didier Drogba is happy to open old wounds to Arsène Wenger


Chelsea legend Didier Drogba continues to haunt former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger – even retired, the 43-year-old forward is more than happy to open up old injuries for FIFA maestro

  • Arsene Wenger returned to the canoe to lead the UNICEF side on Wednesday
  • Didier Drogba scored a hat-trick for the Marseille legends in a thrilling friendly match
  • Drogba has scored 15 goals in 16 games against Wenger Arsenal over the years











Perhaps the signs were there before Arsene Wenger even climbed back into the vault.

Perhaps the alarm bells should have sounded as his team’s speech swirled between Churchillian and Benny Hill-ian.

It is perhaps no wonder that Wenger has a new vocation: to clutter up the football calendar.

Arsene Wenger returned to the canoe to lead the UNICEF side on Wednesday evening

Didier Drogba scored a superb hat-trick for the Marseille legends in a friendly against a UNICEF XI

Didier Drogba scored a superb hat-trick for the Marseille legends in a friendly against a UNICEF XI

On Wednesday, the former Arsenal boss took charge of a UNICEF XI against a team of Marseille legends in what has been dubbed “Match des Heros”.

Before kick-off, Wenger gathered his team in the locker room. But his first lines were interrupted when a passer-by tripped over a flip chart.

“The first yellow card,” Wenger joked.

The first warning sign, too. Wenger then told his motley team of former pros, rappers and Olympians: “Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Football is very simple.

Drogba swept the house from the edge of the box for one of his goals and won the match ball

Drogba swept the house from the edge of the box for one of his goals and won the match ball

Drogba walked away to perform his signature celebration, to the delight of spectators

Drogba walked away to perform his signature celebration, to the delight of spectators

He is right, of course: it is enough to put Didier Drogba in the opposing team and let the carnage reign. Drogba was a harbinger of gray hair during Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal.

Even though his exact scoring record is in dispute, the statistics do not do justice to the psychological scars he left in north London. Today, even in retirement, the 43-year-old is more than happy to reopen old wounds.

The founding of Drogba was the cause. But charity on the ground? To laugh.

With Wenger’s side 2-1 ahead, the forward took advantage of a defensive calamity (of course) to equalize before sealing a hat-trick with two more cool-blooded finishes.

Among his teammates was Samir Nasri, who appears to be enjoying his retirement. The 34-year-old was the only legend to wear a tight-fitting shirt.

Samir Nasri also took part in the friendly two weeks after announcing his retirement

Samir Nasri also took part in the friendly two weeks after announcing his retirement

As for his former boss Wenger, there’s a bit of reassurance: Drogba’s cruel recall was at least for a good cause. Still, the 71-year-old might be wondering what he needs to do to earn himself some charity.

Thursday, Wenger lined up next to Emmanuel Macron for another benefit match, where the head of state received a penalty – thanks to a rather generous goalkeeper.

Gifts worthy of the President but not of the Professor, it seems.



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