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Montreal coach confirms Drogba dropped from team for refusing bench role


Montreal Impact head coach Mauro Biello confirmed Didier Drogba was dropped from the team's 18-man squad for the 401 Derby because he was not set to start the match against Toronto FC.

Earlier reports suggested Drogba was absent from the starting XI and the bench due to a "conflict" with the club, though the team claimed before the fixture the reason was due to a "stiff back."

But Biello revealed otherwise after the match.

"Didier wasn't selected to start the game," Biello said, as quoted by ESPN FC. "I spoke with him yesterday he didn't accept the fact to come off the bench and, in the end, he did not want to be in the 18.

"Yes, there was a little bit of tightness in his back, but he was capable of playing."

Drogba has endured a tough season that, while inconsistent in playing time, yielded him plenty of output. The Ivorian striker scored 10 goals and recorded six assists in the 2016 season.

But he missed plenty of action due to injuries and also opted not to play in matches where artificial turf was used, limiting him to just 22 appearances this season.

In his stead, Biello selected Matteo Mancosu to start up top, but it was Ignacio Piatti who stole the show, scoring twice as the Impact drew Toronto FC 2-2 at Stade Saputo.

"In the end, everybody works hard at training every day to be ready for selection," Biello said, of Drogba. "You're part of a team, and when you're selected or you're not selected, it's about being there for your teammates.

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