Didier Drogba Bails on Impact Again
TORONTO – The Didier Drogba saga took another twist on Wednesday afternoon when it was revealed the embattled superstar didn’t travel with Montreal to Washington D.C. ahead of Thursday night’s one-off playoff game.
The aging — and seemingly disgruntled — ex-Ivorian international hasn’t been seen since bailing on his teammates prior to a match against visiting Toronto FC two weeks ago.
Montreal bench boss Mauro Biello later revealed Drogba had removed himself from the team sheet that night after learning he wouldn’t start the 401 Derby. He didn’t travel with the Impact to New England last weekend.
Between games, though, Montreal owner Joey Saputo released a statement indicating he’d personally met with his 38-year-old Designated Player to resolve any lingering issues.
“The situation has been resolved to the club’s satisfaction,” Saputo said at the time. “Didier has accepted to assume the role that the head coach sees fit while contributing to the success of this club moving forward.
“When he came to Montreal, Didier said he came here to win, and he still has the same objective. Our main priority now is to focus on the last game of the season and the upcoming playoffs.”
Once again, though, the focus is back on Drogba, who has reportedly been hampered by a minor back injury — an excuse nobody is buying given his head coach disclosed he was healthy enough to participate against TFC.
Drogba hasn’t been heard from since. It’s unclear if he’ll be available for Sunday’s conference semifinals if the fifth-seeded Impact manage to get past D.C. United Thursday night at RFK Stadium.
Though he’s contributed 10 goals and six assists in 2016, Drogba hasn’t scored during the run of play in his previous 10 appearances. It also seems his head coach prefers on-loan Bologna striker Matteo Mancosu to Drogba.
Impact supporters should probably ditch the “Drogba Legend” banner they unfurl behind the north goal at Saputo Stadium every game.