Born: March 11, 1978, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Position: Striker

Nickname: Tito, given to him by his mother, in honour of the Yugoslavian political leader Josip Broz Tito.

Clubs played for: Drogba made his professional debut with French club Le Mans in 1999, but moved to Guingamp halfway through the 2001-02 season. A transfer to Olympique Marseille in 2003 followed, and that's when his career took off, as he scored 19 goals and helped L'OM reach the UEFA Cup final, as well as being named player of the year in Ligue Un. His scintillating form caught the attention of Chelsea, who paid a whopping $37.6 million Cdn transfer fee in 2004 to bring him the English Premier League, where he has flourished as one of soccer's biggest stars ever since.

International career: Drogba made his national team debut in September 2002 and scored his first goal the following year. He was instrumental in helping the Ivory Coast qualify for the 2006 World Cup, marking the country's first-ever appearance at the tournament. He also captained his country to their second African Cup of Nations final appearance in 2006.

Why is he so special? Considered one of the game's elite strikers, Drogba is equally adept at using his height to score with his head or his quick feet to breeze past defenders before blasting the ball into the net. His tenacious style of play has won him admiration from fans and commentators, cementing his status as an A-list player.

His most famous moment: With the 2007 FA Cup Final extending into extra time, Drogba slipped the ball past Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar in the 116th minute to lift Chelsea to a 1-0 win. Drogba's goal allowed Chelsea to secure a victory close to home, in front of nearly 90,000 fans in the new Wembley stadium.

He said it: "I'm a very lucky player. In three years my life has changed. I was on the bench in the second division and step by step, year after year, I worked and I know where I want to be and I enjoy my life."

What they're saying about him: "Didier has it all. When you find a player who has talent and is unselfish, hai vinto, you've won." - Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea's manager

Here's an interesting fact: Drogba was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Goodwill Ambassador in 2007.