Didier Drogba or Jamie Vardy: Assessing Who Should Be Considered the Better Player

Jamie Vardy
Vardy is being compared to Drogba, for some reason | Michael Regan/Getty Images

This is a debate we don’t need to have and should not be having. But, because football fans on the internet are tribalist weirdos who can’t just let other people have nice things, it perseveres.

So, Jamie Vardy or Didier Drogba? Leicester’s captain, or Chelsea’s immortal talisman? Who’s better? Does anyone even care?

We’ve broken it down into a few categories to make answering those questions a little easier.

Starting with the obvious. This debate came about when it was highlighted that Vardy had scored more Premier League goals than Drogba in 42 fewer games. So, cut and dry, right?

Well, no. Because other competitions exist.

Drogba racked up 50 goals in 102 Champions League appearances, and 65 in 105 for the Ivory Coast. Vardy has scored twice in nine games in European competitions, and seven in 26 for England. There’s the other side of the coin.

Their overall records, at club level, are actually remarkably similar. 300 in 686 for Drogba, 156 in 311 for Vardy, both squaring at roughly a goal every two games.

Didier Drogba, Philippe SenderosDidier Drogba, Philippe Senderos
Senderos couldn’t touch Drogba | Ben Radford/Getty Images

Didier Drogba was so physically imposing that the mere prospect of playing against him once reduced Philippe Senderos to tears.

He would ragdoll defenders, and not even in the figurative sense. He would literally take them by the collar and toss them about the pitch.

His natural presence made him one of the best hold-up strikers the Premier League has seen, and as much as he loved to drive through a defensive line and power an effort past the keeper, he was just as efficient at taking the ball down on his chest, shrugging off a challenge and laying it off to Frank Lampard.

Jamie VardyJamie Vardy
Vardy is like a freight train when he gets into his stride | Visionhaus/Getty Images

I mean, there’s not much to say here, is there?

Drogba was deceptively quick, but even as Vardy approaches his mid-30s, there are few in world football as quick over a short distance. He’s like the bullet in Mario Kart when he gets going; gliding past despairing centre-backs to score tap-ins is just what he does.

He also runs himself into the ground for the team, possessing an unusual engine for an out and out number nine.

Didier Drogba, Danny GuthrieDidier Drogba, Danny Guthrie
Drogba occasionally wore the captain’s armband for Chelsea | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Many would point to Drogba’s list of medals as an indicator of his winning mentality. He won everything with Chelsea; four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups and a Champions League is more than most players can dream of.

He was a hugely influential figure at Chelsea for a long period of time, and had a formidable knack for scoring big goals in cup finals. Yet you could argue that no one of his seasons matched the feat of a Vardy-inspired Leicester winning the league in 2015.

They are both iconic figures who, at their peak, exerted massive influence over their teams. That’s really all there is to say.

Kevin FriendKevin Friend
Who knows? | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

What have we learned, then? That Drogba and Vardy are both legendary in their own regard, yet are completely different players who operated in completely different spheres, so really there’s no point in comparing them?

We could have told you that 500 words ago, but glad you stayed with us.