The Chelsea legend has had to face accusations of misplaced funds after questions were raised about the work of his Foundation, which was created in 2007 to support orphanages, school children and the sick in Africa.
The 38-year-old is understood to have been left ‘heartbroken and devastated’ by the rumours, and has insisted that he has put over £3.5 million of his own funds into the initiative.
“It’s the biggest challenge of my life, one of the hardest days of my life but it’s a fight I will win,” the legendary forward began, as per the Mirror.
“They are targeting me for whatever reason but the sad truth is that these sort of lies will endanger the kids that I’m trying to help.
“My whole point is that I wanted to put my own money in first before anything from donors, sponsorship or anything we raised. That was if I fail, then I will fail, and no-one else. All my money I have put in has been from my personal sponsorship deals.
“The money is still there, it’s not been wasted, it hasn’t gone missing, we’ve actually been very careful to make sure the money goes to the right people, the right places and, above all, helps the children.”
The powerful hitman currently features for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact, after leaving Chelsea following a second spell at the club in 2015.
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The attacker featured for the likes of Le Mans, Guingamp and Olympique de Marseille before moving to Stamford Bridge in 2004.
He enjoyed immense success in West London, and ended after winning the Champions League with the Pensioners, before moving on to Shanghai Shengua and Galatasaray.