Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba battles for supremacy against the tenacious Joey Barton during Chelsea's 1-0 victory at Loftus Road Getty Images

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has confirmed that he does not plan to retire at the end of the season.

The Ivorian striker is a legendary figure at Stamford Bridge and returned on a one-year contract in the summer of 2014. His initial stint at the club was brought to a fitting end after he dispatched the winning penalty during a tense Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich in 2012.

While Drogba has only played a bit-part role for Chelsea since rejoining, injuries to Diego Costa and Loic Remy left him as manager Jose Mourinho's only fit and available senior striker for the trip to local rivals Queens Park Rangers on 12 April.

The 37-year-old, who had made just three previous Premier League starts this season prior to that clash, played the full 90 minutes at Loftus Road and later insisted this will not be the final campaign of his illustrious playing career.

"I have made a decision, yes," Drogba was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror in the aftermath of Chelsea's hard-fought 1-0 victory. "And no, this is not my last season.

"It's difficult when you don't play and then have to go into these kind of games. But I try to give my best. I tried to give the best of my physical capacity against QPR, so if the manager needs me I'm ready."

Drogba may not be content to hang up his boots just yet, however it remains to be seen if he will be afforded the opportunity to extend his stay at Chelsea.

While the player, who had spells at Shanghai Shenhua and Galatasaray before returning to the Premier League, has a close relationship with Mourinho owing to the success enjoyed during the duo's early years in English football, there appeared to be an expectation that he might opt to move behind the scenes after the expiration of his current deal.

Chelsea's victory over QPR, secured courtesy of a typically dramatic late goal from Cesc Fabregas, maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League ahead of a potentially tricky home fixture against Manchester United.

Their opponents, meanwhile, remain 18<sup>th and face the prospect of relegation back to the Championship and also the possibility of punishment from the Football Association after missiles were allegedly thrown in the direction of Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic as tempers flared late on during an otherwise relatively uneventful derby.