Didier Drogba will leave Chelsea when his contract runs out at the end of June.
The 34-year-old Ivory Coast international has spent eight years at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances, and helped the Blues win 10 major titles.
One of those titles was Saturday's Champions League victory over Bayern Munich, where Drogba scored a late equaliser in normal time and then netted the winning kick in the penalty shoot-out.
He departs Stamford Bridge with his reputation as one of the club's greatest-ever players firmly intact, but he knows it could have been so much different.
Ever since the 34-year-old joined the club from Marseille in 2004 they have been chasing the European Cup and, after so many near misses, Drogba's final kick for them earned them the prize they coveted so much.
Had he not have scored and Bayern gone on to win, he admits he may have been tempted to stay but, with all his loose ends tied up, he is moving on to a new chapter.
Speaking to Radio Five Live, he said: "I think winning the game was the key. Not me scoring the penalty. Winning the game was the turning point, that's why I have decided to say goodbye.
"We made the story together and I want people to remember that. This is the best time to move on.
"Yes, there's a chance that if the result was different, maybe I would be here.
"We were talking for many weeks, but the turning point was based on the fact I won everything I could and scored in most of the finals we have played, trying to make a difference. I hope everyone will understand. Everything I did was for the fans and I hope they understand."
Goalkeeper Petr Cech claimed he heard his team-mate crying after the final.
And, although he has been prone to emotional outbursts during his time in England, Drogba insists he was doing nothing of the sort.
He added: "I wasn't crying - I was talking to myself. I was crazy for a few minutes. I was saying that I wasn't going to cry, and that God is wonderful.
"I was saying, 'We have been chasing this for eight years, we have had a hard time, and she was difficult, but now I understand why. It is wonderful'."
Drogba's departure leaves Fernando Torres as Chelsea's main man in attack.
The Spain international is still finding his feet at the club, despite having been there for nearly 18 months following his £50million move from Liverpool.
Torres spoke of his unhappiness of being a fringe player in the wake of the final, but Drogba expects him to take up a more prominent role next term.
"It's been difficult for him, but he has showed he is the man," he said.
"Next season is going to be his season and I will try to speak to him. We have a good relationship. We don't understand why we didn't play together more, but that's the past. Torres is the future."
It been reported that Drogba's next move will take him to China to link up with former Blues team-mate Nicolas Anelka.
He would not confirm that, but did say that should Chelsea ever need him once his playing days are over, he will always be happy to answer their call.
"I would love to help Chelsea in any way, even if they tell me to come and cut the grass. I will do it," he said.
"Being here for eight years, it will be a big change. Players will go, some stay, but the club will remain as ambitious as it has always been. I am not worried. Chelsea was there before I came and always will be.
"It's impossible to forget this moment. Leaving Chelsea in any case would be difficult, but now even more. It is impossible, Chelsea is in my heart. My blood is blue and my heart even more so."
Earlier Drogba said on the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "I wanted to put an end to all the speculation and confirm that I am leaving Chelsea.
"It has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I am very proud of what we have achieved, but the time is right for a new challenge for me.
"As a team we have accomplished so much and have won every single trophy possible.
"Saturday was a very special moment for everyone at the club and for all the fans, and I am very proud to have played my part in bringing many trophies to this club, which has been my home for the last eight years.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the club especially [owner] Roman [Abramovich] and my team-mates, many of whom have become very close friends and will be my friends for life.
"I would also like to say a very special thank you to the Chelsea fans who have shown me so much love and support over the years.
"I wish the club all the best and continued success for the future - you will always be in my heart."
Chief executive Ron Gourlay paid tribute to "Chelsea legend" Drogba. He said: "Didier is certainly leaving on a high after Saturday night, but he feels the time is right for a new challenge.
"Of course Didier has contributed so much to all of Chelsea's recent successes.
"He has been a consummate professional during his entire time here and as one of the natural leaders in our squad he has been an inspiration to a lot of our younger players."
Gourlay revealed the decision had already been reached that Drogba would not be staying at Stamford Bridge before the squad headed to Munich.
"We have known for some time that this outcome was likely, but Didier and the club only made a final decision on that in the last couple of days, because for obvious reasons neither Didier nor the club wanted to distract focus away from the Champions League final," he said.
"The talks were amicable all the way through and we wish him all the best for the future. He is welcome back to Stamford Bridge at any time - either as a player or as a guest of ours."
Didier Drogba factfile:
1978: March 11 - Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
1998: Begins his professional career playing for Le Mans, where he scores 12 league goals in 68 appearances for the French Ligue 2 club.
2002: January - Signs for Guingamp, where he makes his name by scoring 17 goals in a season, finishing as third-highest goalscorer.
2003: June - Transfers to Marseille from the Brittany club for £4million. In the following season, he scores 19 goals in Ligue 1 and 11 goals in Europe to help his team to the UEFA Cup final, knocking out Liverpool and Newcastle on the way.
2004: May - Voted Footballer of the Year in France.
July - Marseille turn down Chelsea's initial offer of £18m for the Ivory Coast striker and demand £27million.
July 19 - Chelsea agree terms with Marseille over the £24m signing of Drogba and the deal is completed a day later.
2005: May - Finishes the season with 16 goals as the Blues win the Premier League and League Cup.
2006: February - Captains the Ivory Coast to their second African Nations Cup final, but sees his spot-kick saved as they lose 4-2 on penalties to Egypt following a goalless draw.
March 25 - Causes controversy when he admits "sometimes I dive" after a 2-0 win over Manchester City. He immediately retracts the statement.
May - Chelsea retain the league title as Drogba again scores 16 times during the campaign.
June 11 - Scores the Ivory Coast's first ever World Cup goal in 2-1 loss to Argentina.
2007: March - Crowned African Footballer of the Year.
May 19 - Scores an extra-time winner as Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final. It caps a season in which he finds the net 33 times and claims the Premier League's golden boot.
2008: April 30 - Drogba scores twice in the semi-final second leg to send Chelsea through to their first Champions League final.He becomes their top European scorer of all time.
May 21 - Sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic as Chelsea lose the Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United.October 20 - FA investigate a claim in his autobiography that he wished he'd punched Nemanja Vidic in the Champions League final. Three days later he is cleared.
November 12 - Drogba appears to make a one-fingered gesture and then throw a coin picked up off the pitch into the crowd after scoring against Burnley in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge.
November 14 - FA charge him with violent conduct as a result of the incident and he is banned for three matches.
2009: May 6 - Drogba confronts referee Tom Henning Ovrebo over decisions in Chelsea's exit from the Champions League against Barcelona. He appears to mouth "it's a f*****g disgrace" down a TV camera lens.
May 30 - Scores the equaliser as Chelsea come from behind to beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup final.
June 17 - Handed a six-game European ban with the final two games suspended. The ban was reduced by one match on appeal.
September 26 - Scores 100th goal for Chelsea in 3-1 defeat at Wigan 2010: March - Named African Footballer of the Year for the second time.
March 12 - Sent-off as Chelsea crash out of the Champions League 1-0 to Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge, 3-1 on aggregate.
April 6 - Scores second goal in a 2-0 win at Manchester United, handing Chelsea the initiative in the title race.
April 29 - Named among world's 100 most influential people by Time Magazine. May - Named Chelsea Player of the Year.
May 21 - Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 to win the Premier League title. During the game Drogba gets visibly angry with Frank Lampard when he will not let him take a penalty which would have put him ahead of Wayne Rooney as the league's top goalscorer. Drogba goes on to score a hat-trick and win the golden boot for the second time.
May 15 - Scores the winning goal as Chelsea beat Portsmouth 1-0 to complete the league and cup double.
June 1 - New Ivory Coast manager Sven Goran Eriksson names Drogba in his 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
June 4 - Suffers broken arm during Ivory Coast's World Cup warm-up friendly with Japan.
June 15 - Comes on as a substitute in goalless draw against Portugal wearing protective cast.
June 20 - Starts and scores in 3-1 defeat to Brazil, a result which effectively ended Ivory Coast's World Cup.
October - First amateur club Levallois Sporting Club names stadium after the striker.
November 8 - Diagnosed with malaria but makes a full recovery.
2011: September - Joins the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission to help return peace to his home nation.
November - Rejects new Chelsea contract.
December 31: Scores 150th Chelsea goal against Aston Villa to put him level with club's all-time leading scorers Peter Osgood and Roy Bentley.
2012: February 12 - Misses late penalty as Zambia go on to win African Nations Cup in a shoot-out.
March 10 - Scores 100th Premier League goal, becoming the first African to reach the landmark.
April 18 - Solitary goal secures Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Barcelona.
May 5 - Becomes first player to score in four different FA Cup finals in 2-1 victory over Liverpool.
May 19 - Heads a late equaliser in Champions League final against Bayern Munich and scores the penalty in the shoot-out which sees Chelsea crowned European champions for the first time.
May 22 - Chelsea announce Drogba is to leave.