Chelsea icon Didier Drogba has showcased his scoring touch hasn’t been lost after bagging a hat-trick in a charity match – at the expense of Arsene Wenger.
The ex-Arsenal boss Wenger was haunted by the iconic frontman during his time in the dugout, with Drogba having scored 15 goals in just 16 games against his side.
And when Arsene Wenger returned to management to lead a UNICEF XI out against Marseille legends, it was Drogba who reminded him about the agony of coaching.
Despite announcing his retirement three years ago, Drogba was found in red-hot form in front of goal, and took each of his three strikes in truly ruthless fashion.
Wenger’s side moved into a 2-1 lead at the Stade Velodrome in his first game on the touchline since 2018, before Drogba stole the show with his trio of goals.
In the end, largely thanks to the heroics from their striker, Marseille legends triumphed 7-4, a result which may have made Wenger wince at full-time.
Drogba found the net twice and then even dusted off his infamous celebration for his third goal, much to the delight of the supporters inside the ground.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, the now 43-year-old scored 164 times for the club in 381 games, and took home the match ball in his recent outing this week.
Formula One hotshot Pierre Gasly was also on target in the enthralling match-up.
Meanwhile, Robert Pires, Mathieu Flamini, Samir Nasri and Jens Lehmann – all Arsenal legends under Wenger – made appearances on Wednesday evening.
Nasri, who started his career at Marseille in 2004, announced he would hang up his boots just two weeks ago, at the age of 34.
Ahead of the game, Wenger also issued some brief instructions to his players in his first pre-match team talk in several years.
‘Football is very simple,’ he said. ‘You control the ball, you make a good decision and after you execute well what you have decided to do.
In his first role outside of management, Wenger is now FIFA’s head of global football development – and has been maligned for his biennial World Cup proposals.
Here’s as full a list of participants as I could find, including a whole bunch of local celebrities.
OM Legends (4-3-3):
Pascal Olmeta | Taye Taiwo, Daniel van Buyten, Basile Boli, Habib Beye | JUL (rapper), Robert Pirès, Samir Nasri | Fabrizio Ravanelli, Didier DROGBA, Djibril Cissé
Substitutes from: Yohann Pelé, Eric Di Méco, Marcel DESAILLY, Benôit Cheyrou, Mamadou Niang, Frédéric Déhu, Rod Fanni, Toifilou Maoulida, Lorik Cana, Mathieu Flamini, Jacques Abardonado, Caroline Pizzala (from OM Féminin), Naps (rapper), SCH (rapper), Bengous (comedian), Alonzo (rapper), Soso Maness (rapper), Redouane Bougheraba (actor), Ichem Bougheraba (actor), Hakim Bougheraba (director), Baptiste Giabiconi (model), Benoît Paire (tennis)
Team UNICEF (4-2-3-1):
Jens Lehmann | Eric Abidal, Teddy Riner (judoka), Ricardo CARVALHO, Christian Karembeu | Esteban Cambiasso, Gaizka Mendieta | Matt Pokora (singer), Tony Parker (basketball), Patrick Kluivert | David Trezeguet
Substitutes from: Ludovic Giuly, Sonny Anderson, Sidney Govou, Laure Boulleau (PSG Féminin legend), Alizé Lim (tennis), Laury Thilleman (Miss France 2011), Pierre Gasly (Formula 1), Kev Adams (comedian), Hakim Jemili (comedian), Smaïl Bouabdellah (TV presenter), Martin Solveig (DJ), Richard Orlinski (artist), Roméo Elvis (rapper), Sneazzy (
smurf rapper), Kungs (DJ), Jok’Air (rapper), Djimo (actor)