Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has announced his retirement from football at the age of 36, after a 16-year career that includes many honours and important goals for every team he has played in.
THE START… pic.twitter.com/oldRru5v4z
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) September 13, 2021
He started his professional career for Rouens in the National 2 league in France where he had an immensely successful season, scoring 22 goals. This enabled him to move to Mouscron in the Belgian Pro League, where his season was hampered by injuries but after eight months, scored seven goals in nine games.
He was sold to Hoffenheim, the following season and played an integral part in them getting promoted to the Bundesliga. He scored 14 goals in his debut season in Bundesliga which led to his club coming seventh on the table in 2008-09. Ba scored 40 goals for Hoffenheim in 103 appearances and extended his contract up to 2013.
He left the club, though, in 2011 as there were disputes with him and the management regarding his transfer to a Premier League club, which was believed to be West Ham United. Ba tried to force the issue by sitting out and flying off to England. Hoffenheim cancelled his contract and sued him. He was supposed to move to Stoke City but due to a failed medical, the move broke down.
Ba was sold to West Ham later. His contract was based on a pay as you play basis. He ended up getting seven goals in twelve appearances but due to the club’s relegation, he triggered a release clause that allowed him to move on for free.
He moved to Newcastle United where he began to score freely for the club and helped Newcastle maintain an unbeaten start to the season. Along with Papiss Cisse, they formed a great duo as Ba ended up with 16 goals that season and was voted as the best signing of the 2011–12 season by Premier League managers. The next season, he continued with his goal-scoring form but his release clause was activated by Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2013.
He wasn’t as prolific for Chelsea but did score some crucial goals for them. He scored a goal against Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals to make the team win 1-0. In his second season with Chelsea, he scored the winning goal in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Paris Saint-Germain to send Chelsea through to the semi-finals. On 27th April 2014, Ba scored the most memorable goal in his career when he took advantage of a Steven Gerrard slip to score a goal against Liverpool at Anfield to end their title charge.
He moved to Besiktas where he was pretty good and scored 18 goals for them in the 2014-15 season. He had stints in China with the club Shanghai Shenhua. In Turkey, he played for Göztepe and İstanbul Başakşehir for three seasons. His career ended in Switzerland with the club, Lugano.
In Turkey, he has won two Süper Lig titles with Besiktas and Başakşehir. He has won a few individual honours as well. He will be well known as a striker who emerged as a cult figure for every club he played in.
On the International stage, he represented Senegal instead of his native country, France and scored three goals in 22 matches for them.