Date: 12th January 2010 at 3:58pm
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Didier Drogba has been in the news recently, rather unfortunately for tragic reasons. It`s comforting, however, that the IFFHS has designated our Ivorian hitman the second-best goalgetter for last year.

We have heard a lot from Didier Drogba following the senseless attack on Togo`s team-bus in Angola, an attack that resulted in 3 deaths and the withdrawal of Togo from the African Cup of Nations. That has thrown the tournament into chaos.

Didier Drogba, who is a highly intelligent and sensitive man and well aware of his role and responsibilities as the captain of the national team of a war-torn country, is said to be extremely affected by the attack. It is hard not to sympathise: the attack by Cabinda separatists has stained what was to be a celebration of African football. By his standards Drogba was subdued during the match last night between Ivory Coast (the tournament favourites) and Burkina Faso. We wish Didier Drogba the best in this tournament, in the hope that the headlines can return to football, whilst also finding a fitting tribute to the victims of a senseless attack.

With that in mind, Drogba`s prowess as a footballer and a striker has been recognised. Drogba currently sits at the top of the scoring charts in England. He was also voted ‘African Player of the Year` by the BBC last week.

But he was also awarded the title by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics as the second best goal getter for 2009.

In one of those exercises that the IFFHS likes so much, they have compiled a listing of the world`s top goalscorers. This particular one takes account “only international scored goals in all full ‘A’ internationals, the Olympic final tournament as well as (inter)continental club competitions of FIFA, AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA from 1st January to 31st December”.

According to this ranking, a certain Shinij Okazaki, from the mighty Shimizu FC S-Pulse and Japan, is the World’s Top Goal Scorer 2009, with 15 to his name. Congratulations, Shiniji.

Also with 15 to his name is Didier Drogba. However, priority is given to the player who scored more goals in the full “A” internationals, should two players have an equal number of goals: all of Okazaki`s goals were in full “A” internationals, whereas Drogba`s 15 had 8 goals for the Ivory Coast and 7 in Champions League matches. Considering that Drogba was suspended for a couple of CL games in the Autumn courtesy of UEFA`s ridiculous sanction, that`s quite some feat.

We should also mention that also on 15 goals is one Abdelmalek Ziaya, who scored all 15 for his club, Entente Sportive de Sétif.

The rest of this list contains some interesting names, particularly as a number have links with Chelsea (or have been linked with us): in 4th place is free-scoring David Villa, 6th is Sevilla`s Luis Fabiano. 9th is Wolfsburg`s Bosnian Edin D?eko, whereas 12th, somewhat gallingly, is Claudio Pizarro, the man who failed to cause the onion bag to bulge whilst wearing a Chelsea shirt. In 26th? One Frank Lampard, for the 6 international goals scored and 3 Champions League to his name last year. Ickle Stevie Gerrard MoTM however, doesn`t make the list at all.

For Drogba (who will be honoured for this, alongside Okazaki Ziaya at an IFFHS gala in London on February 1st), this is a recognition of his talents. You’d be hard-pushed to identify any better strikers in England, let alone Europe, right now. And to think that there are certain bad losers in Islington who consider that Didier Drogba doesn`t actually do that much.

The IFFHS 2009 goalgetter table can be found HERE.