A host of wonderfully talented African players have lit up the Premier League down the years, but arguably none more so than Didier Drogba.
The Ivorian striker spent a total of nine years with Chelsea, scoring 104 league goals for the west London outfit.
He was the ultimate big-game player for the Blues, always popping up with vital goals in the most important matches.
Drogba ended his Chelsea career with a host of major honours including four Premier League titles, the same number of FA Cups, three League Cups and a UEFA Champions League winners’ medal.
It was Drogba, of course, who scored the winning penalty for Chelsea against Bayern Munich in the dramatic 2012 Champions League final.
No African player has scored more Premier League goals than Drogba.
Emmanuel Adebayor (97) and Yakubu (95) run him close but, as things stand, the current Phoenix Rising player remains top of the pile.
SALAH COULD SOON BE ON DROGBA’S TAIL
However, he may soon face stiff competition from Mohamed Salah, who already has 32 goals in England’s top division to his name.
The 25-year-old only managed to net two league goals during his ill-fated spell with Chelsea but has been scoring for fun since joining Liverpool from AS Roma last summer.
In 32 appearances, the Egyptian forward has netted a remarkable 30 goals and currently leads the race for the Premier League’s coveted Golden Boot award ahead of Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
His latest goal came against Bournemouth last weekend – and, in the process, he broke a Premier League record held by Drogba.
DROGBA’S INSTAGRAM MESSAGE TO SALAH
Drogba was the African player who’d scored the most goals in a single Premier League season thanks to his tally of 29 from 32 games during the 2009-10 campaign.
But Salah surpassed that last Saturday with four league fixtures still to play.
LIV 2-0 BOU (70 ') – Mohamed Salah is the FIRST African player to score 30+ goals in a Premier League season. He just passed Didier Drogba's record in 2009-10 (29 goals) #LIVBOU
— MisterChip (English) (@MisterChiping) April 14, 2018
On Thursday night, almost a week after losing his record, Drogba sent a classy message to Salah on Instagram.
“It was just a matter of days before this guy put my goal record as number one African @premierleague top scorer to bed,“ Drogba wrote, alongside a photo of the two of them.
“So proud of you lil bro @mosalah22 continue to put Our continent as high as you can!!! Much love and blessings, like I said before The best is yet to come 🙏🏾🙏🏾“
It was just a matter of days before this guy put my goal record as number one African @premierleague top scorer to bed So proud of you lil bro @mosalah22 continue to put Our continent as high as you can!!! Much love and blessings, like I said before The best is yet to come 🙏🏾🙏🏾 C’était juste une question de jours avant que ce bonhomme envoie mon record de meilleur buteur africain de @premierleague aux oubliettes Très fier de toi petit frère @mosalah22 Continues de porter l’Afrique au plus haut!! Comme je le disais déjà à ton sujet, le meilleur est à venir 🙏🏾🙏🏾
Great stuff from Drogba, who seems genuinely pleased for Salah.
Some players would have felt jealous in the same situation but this Instagram message sums up Drogba’s character.
The guy is pure class.
Well played, Didier!