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Monday, June 13, 2011

So some footballers CAN behave themselves? Chelsea star Didier Drogba marries his long-term partner in a private ceremony

By Marcus Barnes

Private ceremony: Didier Drogba invited his closest family and friends to his wedding in Monaco

With the almost incessant scandals that emerge from the world of football it's refreshing to find that some players can behave themselves.

Take Didier Drogba for instance - the Chelsea star married his long-term partner this weekend in a private ceremony minus the opulence commonly associated with the world of millionaire footballers.

Drogba, 33, tied the knot with Lalla Diakite at the at the Marie de Monaco in Monaco.

Here comes the bride: It was a real family affair for the millionaire footballer

The centre forward sported a simple grey suit for the ceremony, while his wife also kept it relatively simple in a plain white gown.

Meanwhile the bridesmaids wore lilac outfits.

The ceremony was officiated by club owner Roman Abramovich, with his team-mates Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda among the groom’s men.

RnB superstar Akon and a host of stars from NBA were also said to be included on the list of guests for the event.

Didier also flew in singer J.Martins from Nigeria.

The football is said to be a fan of the singer after hearing his collaboration with Congolese music star, Fally Ipupa, on the song, Jupa Remix.

Dream wedding: The Chelsea star pulled out all the stops to make sure that the ceremony was a special day for his new wife

In fact, according to a source it was originally Ipupa who was invited to the wedding, a source says.

The source claimed: 'Drogba really loves the song and he thought it was Fally Ipupa’s.

'So, when his management got across to Fally to perform at the wedding to sing specified songs, he told them that Jupa Remix was not his. And that for him to perform it at the wedding, his collaborator, the owner of the song, had to be there.'

Didier and his bride met in 1999 when he was in the early stages of his career in Paris, they have three children together and maintain a relatively private life apart from Drogba's infrequent visits to west end clubs with his team mates.

And, although the setting and guestlist were both indicative of the football star's wealth, Drogba kept his day as simple as he could.

A source told The Sun: 'Didier isn't interested in celebrity magazine deals or needless expense.

'He just wants a private wedding with his closest friends and family. He wants to give Lalla the wedding of her dreams because they couldn't afford much when they got together as youngsters in France.'

Meanwhile, one of Drogba's good friends, Ghanian star Michael Essien, travelled 3,000 kilometres to make an appearance at the wedding.

Cancelled: Ashley Young and Liam Ridgewell both halted their weddings before they'd even happened

Essien took part in Nigerian star Kanu's testimonial game on Saturday and flew to Monaco so he could honour his commitments to both men.

Chelsea star Drogba wasn't the only footballer with wedding news this weekend.

Manchester City player Vincent Kompany and Tottenham's Luka Modric also wed over the weekend.

While Birmingham City player Liam Ridgewell called off his £170,000 wedding by sending a text to guests just eight days before the ceremony.

Better luck: Luka Modric and Vincent Kompany both tied the knot this weekend

The defender, 26, had planned to tie the knot with girlfriend Kirsty Maclaren, 23, in front of 200 people next Saturday.

Instead they sent a message saying it was cancelled.

It read: 'It’s not been an easy decision but it is mutual. We ask for your understanding at this hard time.'

The news came 24 hours after Manchester United star Ashley Young called off his marriage to Nicky Pike, 26 – just two days before the ceremony.


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