Ivorian Footballer Drogba named one of 2010 Time 100 Heroes

Didier Drogba being hustled off the field in Bouaké, Ivory Coast, following the Ivory Coast national soccer team's 5–0 victory over Madagascar on June 3, 2007. Photograph by Austin Merrill, Vanity Fair

Didier Drogba is powerful both on and off the pitch according to a recent article in Time Magazine.  Back in 2006 Drogba delivered a statement on behalf of his national teammates calling for peace in Cote d’Ivoire, a country that has been ravaged by civil war.  The move helped spur reconciliation. Another article published in 2007, by Vanity Fair, Best Feet Forward, highlighted the impact of the striker.  The article begins: “A single soccer match achieves what five years of combat and negotiations could not: an apparent end to Ivory Coast’s civil war. The man who brought the warring sides together was not a politician or a gun-toting strongman, but Didier Drogba, the star striker for Ivory Coast.” In another 2007 Telegraph article Drogba is quoted as saying “I have won many trophies in my time… but nothing will ever top helping win the battle for peace in my country…”

Drogba does not seem to mind the pressure of being considered a valuable “weapon” on and off the field and explains why he considers Nelson Mandela to be the most influential person in a video.

He continues to put his celebrity status to good use. In addition to being a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador he has built hospitals in Cote d’Ivoire using money he gets from endorsements.

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