Didier Drogba...the name strikes fear into defenders throughout football and excites soccer fans around the world. The giant forward is one of the most charismatic figures of the modern era and his life story is as amazing as some of the goals which have turned him into a hero on two continents. Born in 1978 into a large family in a poor suburb of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he was sent to live in France with an uncle, a professional footballer, at the tender age of five. The infant Drogba didn't see his parents for three years as he travelled around France with his uncle who moved from club to club. Returning home to more heartache - his parents were to lose their jobs in the struggling economy - it was decided he should return to France for good. But the story was only just beginning. His parents banned him from football for a year so he could devote more time to his schoolwork, but eventually he signed with French side Le Mans before moving to newly-promoted Guingamp; as the goals started to flow he also became an Ivory Coast international. It was when he moved to one of France's biggest sides, Olympique Marseilles, that the awesome talent of the 6 feet 2 inches tall striker - who, amazingly, had started out as a full back - fully emerged onto the world stage. He became French Footballer of the Season and was nominated as a candidate for World Player of the Year as the goal-rush began, prompting Chelsea to splash out a club-record fee of GBP 24 million to bring him to Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, idolised as captain of 'The Elephants', his country's national side, his goals and commitment were eventually to win over the London club's supporters; and along the way he caused a storm when he went on television and apparently confessed to 'diving' in opposition penalty areas. His sending off in a brutal Champions League clash with Barcelona led to one of the world's top referees quitting the game after death threats to his family. Drogba even had to face competition for his place from the world's most expensive footballer, the GBP 30 million Ukrainian goal-machine Andriy Shevchenko. Now one of the highest-paid footballers in the world, his amazing life story reveals the struggle of his early years, his battle for acceptance on and off the football field and the candid truth about his rivalry with Shevchenko in a story that really is stranger than fiction.