Didier Drogba is one of football’s all time great strikers. But what a lot of people don’t know, is that he actually brought peace to the Ivory Coast by singlehandedly ending the civil war.
Between 2002 and 2007, Drogba’s home country the Ivory Coast, was engaged in a violent civil war. Rebels from the north and the government were at loggerheads, and over 1000 civilians had lost their lives in the crossfire.
Conflict in the country was at an all time high, and previous attempts to stop it had failed miserably. However in 2006, a Didier Drogba goal that took the Côte d’Ivoire national team to the World Cup changed everything.
After leading his team to that famous win, Didier dropped to his knees on live television and begged the warring factions to lay their arms down and stop fighting.
They listened, and after 5 years of war and killing, a cease-fire war initiated.
But that wasn’t enough for the Chelsea frontman, who then went on to push for their next game to be held in the capital of Bouake. Home of the rebel forces.
Amazingly, they listened again. And in another first for 5 years, the whole country came together without any violence.
They won the game and shortly after both sides of the conflict symbolised the ‘end of war’ with ‘The Flame of Peace’. (Seen below).
The war was officially over after an imminent peace ceremony and the country that was once a no man’s land could be rebuilt.
“I have won many trophies in my time, but nothing will ever top helping win the battle for peace in my country. I am so proud because today in the Ivory Coast we do not need a piece of silverware to celebrate.” – Didier Drogba
Didier then went on to spend £5 million of his earnings on 5 brand new hospitals around the Ivory Coast. He’s a true hero in his country, and continues to be to this day.