Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has announced that he is to retire at the end of an upcoming campaign with Phoenix Rising.
The iconic Ivorian striker will take part in the 2018 USL season, but will then hang up his boots.
Drogba turned 40 on Sunday and feels that the time is right to walk away after more than two decades in the game.
He told Telefoot: “It’s really a pleasure for me to play.
“I started late at the top level. I really enjoy playing. I like my role of owner-player a lot. I’m surrounded by a lot of youngsters, and I like passing my know-how on to them. But this season is the last. I’m 40, it’s time now.”
Drogba made his debut for Le Mans at the age of 20 in 1998.
He would go on to take in spells with Guingamp and Marseille before joining Chelsea for £24 million in the summer of 2004.
Over the course of two spells at Stamford Bridge he plundered over 150 goals while securing four Premier League titles and the Champions League.
A glittering career has also taken him to Shanghai Shenhua, Galatasaray and MLS side Montreal Impact.
Age has finally caught up with him, but the Drogba dynasty looks set to continue as eldest son Isaac recently linked up with the Guingamp youth academy.
Drogba could also return to France at some stage, with a non-playing position at Marseille appealing to a man who has achieved just about everything on the field.
He added: “We’ll have to see what is offered. I’m always ready to help.
“In any case, Marseille are showing good things this year. Rudi Garcia’s project is taking shape, they’re building a team with young players. It’s excellent to stay in the top three with a team like that. As a fan, I have a lot of faith in them.”