"A country that has all these riches can't sink into war. Put down your weapons! Organize elections!"
Didier Drogba's speech shocked Côte d'Ivoire. In the middle of a civil war, the country was experiencing dark days. The Chelsea striker knew that he had an important role to play.
In 2005, during a game against Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the first World Cup in their history. A chance for Drogba to fulfill his role and use football as a tool for peace.
And it worked! The tension eased for a while. But things quickly restarted again and Drogba had to step in once more.
In 2007, instead of playing a game against Madagascar in Abidjan as planned, the Ivorian striker asked to play the game in Bouaké, the heartland of the rebellion.
After scoring and winning, Drogba kneeled down and begged the rebels to put down their weapons. This worked, and tensions eased off again thanks to this "reconciliation match".
Didier Drogba was so much more than just a footballer.