Chelsea’s Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has been honoured with The Barclays Spirit of the Game award for his charity and philanthropic work outside of football.
The attacker recently opened the first of five hospitals that he is currently working to open in Cote D’Ivoire. The first hospital is a $1 million facility in a district in the capital, Abidjan called Attecoube, and it will focus on medical care and treatment for the less fortunate, who cannot afford more expensive healthcare.
Known for his philanthropic nature and the love and care he has for the people of his native Cote D’Ivoire and Africa in general, the former national team captain is planning to open a further four hospitals in four other cities, namely Yamoussoukro, San Pedro, Man and Korhogo, as part of the work that he does through the Didier Drogba Foundation.
Chelsea team-mates Petr Cech, Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic joined Drogba in April for a London gala event earlier this month, helping to raise around $611,000 which will go towards the foundation’s initiatives in Cote D’Ivoire.
In a video message, the 37-year-old accepted the award and spoke about his difficult past, and how it has shaped his ideals and the efforts he undertakes on behalf of people in need.
“I come from a poor family where I played football in the streets with my friends with no shoes, there was no grass but we still enjoyed it,” said Drogba in the message.
“There is nothing better than when you see a kid with a smile on his face and that is why I’m trying to help. I want to do a lot of things in Africa, I want to give people the chance to dream, and it is easier to dream when you are in good health and happy,” he added.
Didier Drogba was on target against Leicester City on Wednesday night to help Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over the Foxes at the King Power Stadium, pushing them closer to the English Premier League crown, for which they need two more points to secure the title.
Drogba’s Video Message can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/1EVjfC9