Drogba out of Elephants team

Drogba out of Elephants team

Didier Drogba could be the latest in a long line of retirements this year after the striker was left out of Cote d'Ivoire's squad for the upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifying action.

The Galatasaray forward has not featured for his country since their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final defeat to eventual champions Nigeria, missing out on the qualifier against Gambia in March.

Coach Sabri Lamouchi initially claimed Drogba's absence was due to fitness concerns, but the former Chelsea star has now also been left out of the 26-man squad for the return fixture against the Scorpions on June 8, as well as the game against Tanzania on June 16.

Reports had suggested after the AFCON finals in South Africa earlier this year that Drogba, 35, would hang up his international boots, and although he had initially played down those claims, a possible exit from the global stage could be on the cards for the Champions League winner.

In his absence, Lamouchi has named no fewer than seven strikers in his squad, with Lille's Salomon Kalou, Arsenal's Gervinho and Fortuna Dusseldorf up-and-comer Mathis Bolly amongst those forwards, while Yaya Toure will be called upon to pull the strings in the middle of the park.

Should Drogba decide to retire from international football, he will follow in the footsteps of Rio Ferdinand, who quit England earlier this week, while Paul Scholes, Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and David Beckham have called time on their careers altogether.