Premier Moments #3: Didier Drogba's perfect MLS debut

In celebration of our ongoing From The Streets campaign, Premier Bet are taking you on a journey to celebrate Didier Drogba – who represents us as a Brand Ambassador – and his legendary footballing career.

In a series named ‘Premier Moments’, we are sharing exclusive footage which we have filmed with the former Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker, documenting the most special moments of his career.

With the last matchday of the regular Major League Soccer (MLS) season taking place in the United States this weekend, Episode 3 looks back at Drogba’s unforgettable debut for Montreal Impact in September 2015, when he scored a perfect hat-trick to help his new team beat Chicago Fire 4-3.

⚽ Drogba’s MLS Journey ⚽

After winning the Premier League title immediately upon his return to Chelsea in the 2014-15 campaign, many players may have chosen to retire on a high at the age of 37. However, seemingly fuelled by only starting eight league games across the course of the previous season, Drogba was determined to finish his career playing regularly while experiencing a new country and league in the process.

“You know, I was in a time where I wanted to finish well, because at Chelsea I didn’t play much, even though we won the league and I came [to Chelsea] knowing that I was not going to play much,” Drogba explained to us.

“I was missing scoring goals and I really wanted to finish on a high. And so I moved there to a new league. I was in Asia before, so now I said okay let’s try the American continent,” Drogba enthused. “It’s a good league. When people ask me what’s the difference between US and Europe, I said, I know everything about football, but I went there to learn everything about soccer.”

⚽ Reliving Drogba’s Iconic MLS Debut ⚽

Clearly, Drogba is a very fast learner, as he opened the scoring on his Montreal debut after just 27 minutes. Displaying his extraordinary combination of physicality and skill once more, Drogba shrugged off the close attentions of his opposing defender while expertly trapping the ball with his left foot, before swiftly swivelling and deliciously poking the ball into the back of the net with the outside of his right foot.

During a topsy-turvy encounter, Montreal found themselves 3-2 down in the second half, but Drogba dragged them level by showing his proficiency with both feet to smash the ball home with his left. Moments later, he turned the match on its head completely by heading home from close range, becoming the first player in MLS history to score a ‘perfect hat-trick’ (right foot, left foot, head) in the process. 🔥

“It’s a different approach, but the emotions were the same. Whether you score a goal in China, or in Montreal, or in South America, it’s the same feeling,” Drogba revealed. “The celebration and the passion is there. So the hat-trick was a way for me to tell everyone in the US: Yes, I am still going to deliver, no matter the level of the competition!”

As we will continue to reminisce on throughout the Premier Moments series, Drogba was more reliable than your local postman when it came to delivering on the football field, especially in high-pressure situations.

He went on to be named MLS Player of the Month after scoring seven goals in his first five games for the club, finishing the campaign as their top goalscorer despite joining more than half-way through. Montreal secured their best ever MLS placing at the time by finishing third, reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the play-offs in Drogba’s two seasons at the club.

His old team will be aiming to hold onto a final series play-off spot when they travel to Columbus Crew this weekend, with plenty of exciting action set to take place on the MLS’ final matchday. Meanwhile, new customers can continue to benefit from our generous Sports Bonus welcome offer.


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Did you miss Episode 1 of Drogba’s Premier Moments? Click here to watch his first Premier League goal for Chelsea, and read his thoughts on how that memorable moment felt for him.

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