Didier Drogba reveals he won't be returning to Montreal next season

Video via MLS: Unforgettable night in Big O (1:50)

MLSsoccer.com' Jillian Sakovits catches up with Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, Montreal Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier and forward Dominic Oduro following the wild 3-2 Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoff match in the Big O. (1:50)

Didier Drogba told reporters he has played his last game in Montreal following the Impact's 3-2 win against Toronto FC in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference finals.

Drogba, 38, came on for the Impact as a substitute in the 71st minute with his team leading 3-1 only to see Montreal concede a second away goal when Michael Bradley converted from 12 yards out to further cut into the hosts' lead.

The game was Montreal's final one at home this season, as Toronto will host the second leg at BMO Field on Nov. 30, while the MLS Cup final will be played at the home the Western Conference winners should the Impact advance, and Drogba confirmed he planned to move on.

"My contract ends at the end of the season and I won't be returning," Drogba told reporters. "I want to end things well, out of respect for everything the people here, the city, have given me. I was disappointed with the result, but we will do everything to qualify to the final. I don't think the adventure will end in Toronto."

The Ivorian striker signed with the Impact in July of 2015, scoring 11 goals in his first 11 games. But he's been plagued by leg and back ailments during this, his first full season with the Impact, and lost his starting place to Italian forward Matteo Mancosu -- while he also refused to play after being left out of the side in October.

"I had one and a half years of good emotions. I think we made history," Drogba said. "And when I came I said that I wanted to make history with the club, and for the first time after a long moment we went last season to play against Columbus in the semifinal of this competition. And this year we are in the conference final, so it's a good progress.

"I'm quite happy with the way things are going and I kind of reached the target. But there's still some room to break some more records."

The club also released a video following the match thanking Drogba for his time and service to the club, with the clip concluding by saying "Merci Didier."

Drogba did not specify whether he is planning on retiring or hopes to return in MLS or elsewhere next season, but he will not be an Impact player next season.

Impact captain Patrice Bernier said he only learned before Tuesday's game that Drogba would not be returning

"Didier brought so much on the field, off the field, with his leadership and experience and he brought a human factor as well," Bernier said. "It was great to get to know him more. I was happy the club honored him after the game. But it's not over yet -- there's still one or maybe two games to play."

As for the playoff matchup with Toronto, Drogba had "mixed feelings" about the slim win at home and acknowledged the second leg could go either way.

"You see, it depends how you see it," said Drogba, who came off the bench to replace Mancosu in the 71st minute. "The bottle is half empty or half full, it depends how you see it. And I think that you can see it as a disappointment because we conceded two goals and we were saying that we shouldn't concede, and the way we conceded those goals, I think we could have avoided them. And the positive thing is that we scored three goals and we won the game.

"So you go home with mixed feelings, but you have to remember that we won the game and to qualify, it's not only one but two games, so what if we won here, 4-0, then we go there and we lost five?

"It happened before in Champions League, you know, [in the 2004 quarterfinals, Deportivo] La Coruna against Milan won 4-0 at San Siro, and then [Milan] lost against La Coruna [5-4 on aggregate], I think you remember. So what is the best result?"

Montreal goal scorer Dominic Oduro called the end result "a bit of a downer."

"We won the game but we act like it was a loss because of the away-goals situation, but it is what it is. It's a game, it happens," he said. "We just have to set our mind really right and go out there and give them the same thing that they give us, we just have to go out and compete.

"If you want to win the MLS Cup, you have to show that you can go on the road and make stuff happen, and that's exactly what we have to do in Toronto."