Chelsea legend Didier Drogba denied fairytale end to career as his last ever game ends in defeat for Phoenix Rising

The Chelsea legend – who plays for and co-owns Phoenix Rising – suffered heartbreak as his side lost 1-0 to Louisville City in the USL Cup final, his final game.

At full-time, Drogba approached the Phoenix faithful, hugged one gutted fan and told him: "Don't cry, don't cry."

He proceeded to shake supporters' hands and thank them.

His fellow owner Berke Bakay hailed the 40-year-old for his "amazing contributions to the beautiful sport".

Bakay tweeted: "You have laid the foundation of something really special that we are all going to enjoy for many years to come!"

Drogba inspired second-division Phoenix to the final with three goals in three play-off games, but was stopped in his tracks against Louisville.

Luke Spencer dealt the killer blow in the second half after a penalty box scramble.

Drogba said last month: "I joke with people that they need to give me the cup, so I can retire in peace. And that if I don't get it, I'll come back.

"But the truth is, this is my last season."

Drogba scored a stunning 157 goals in 341 appearances during his first spell at Chelsea between 2004 and 2012, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

The ex-Ivory Coast forward won the league again in 2015 after returning to Stamford Bridge following spells at Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray.

An 18-month stint at Montreal Impact followed, before joining – and purchasing – Phoenix in 2017.

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