Didier Drogba may have hit the top of the hill in terms of age earlier this year, but the veteran striker still retains much of the quality that saw him win four Premier League titles and two golden boots with Chelsea.
The Ivorian, plying his trade in America’s second tier United Soccer League, left the Tulsa Rednecks stunned on Saturday night after hitting a sensational goal from a free-kick all of 40 yards.
Standing over the ball, it looked for all the world that the 40-year-old would opt for a simple cross into the box. Instead, he let rip with a driving effort. The goalkeeper could not react quick enough and it flew into the net.
With Phoenix Rising winning 2-1 at the time, the goal knocked the wind out of Tulsa and Drogba’s team would score twice more in the final 20 minutes to round off an impressive 5-1 win.
It served to underline exactly why Drogba is yet to hang up his boots in a career that has spanned 20 years, although he has already made some significant plans for when he finally does.
As a part-owner of the club he now plays for, Drogba will take an executive role with Phoenix Rising when his playing days are over with the aim of making them a Major League Soccer outfit in the future.
His brace against Tulsa means he now has four goals to show from just four games in the USL and fired Phoenix within one point of Western Conference leaders Real Monarchs SLC.
Although finishing top does not matter as such with the top eight progressing to a play-off round to decide the champion of the division.
They have an eight-point cushion on ninth-placed San Antonio FC, making them likely participants in this season’s play-offs already.