Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has expressed his desire to help Cote d’Ivoire win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations by staying in China and playing competitive football.
The Shanghai Shenhua striker scored a penalty in a 4-2 qualification victory over Senegal in Abidjan on Saturday, and put the minds of all his fans at ease by stressing that he not only intends to stay in Asia, but also to help his country to glory, should they come through the second leg unscathed.
“For the Africa Cup of Nations 2013, I will do everything in order to remain competitive while in China. Don’t worry,” he told L’Equipe before the game.
“My start has generated good and bad reviews but I’ve always taken on my choices.”
The 34-year-old made good on his word, helping his side twice fight back from a losing position to put themselves in the driving seat ahead of October’s decider.
With the scores tied at 2-2, Drogba stepped up to convert a late penalty, before Max Gradel added a fourth goal with five minutes left on the clock.
It has been a mixed year from the spot for Drogba; he missed a shoot-out spot-kick as the Ivory Coast lost the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to Zambia in February, but secured Champions League glory for Chelsea from 12 yards against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final three months later.