Didier Drogba has decided to play in the Major League Soccer by securing a move to Montreal Impact. The former Chelsea striker ended weeks of speculation about his future by signing for the Canadian outfit.
Impact has acquired the MLS rights to Drogba from the Chicago Fire with reports suggesting an 18-month deal had been agreed. Chicago initially obtained the 37-year-old’s rights by filing a discovery claim on the player and pursued him for over a month.
But the prospect of playing in French-speaking Montreal proved more attractive to the former Ivory Coast skipper.
Montreal president Joey Saputo told impactmontreal.com: “It’s an honour to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact.
“From the first conversation I had with him, I felt that he really wanted to play in Montreal. This is one of the biggest days in club history and his arrival to the club will be beneficial in every aspect.”
Drogba had a spell at Chelsea between 2004 to 2012, played with Shanghai Shenhua in China, helped Galatasaray to a Turkish league title in 2013 before being re-signed by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in 2014 on a one-year deal.
Montreal vice-president Nick De Santis added: “He’s had an impact on millions of people since the start of his career and he will continue to do so wearing the Impact colours.
“A player of his magnitude can only help grow our club. He’s been a leader, a winner and a champion throughout his career.”
The 104-time Ivory Coast international joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2004 and twice scored 20 goals or more in a single league season. He also won the FA Cup four times and the League Cup three times.
Montreal technical director Adam Braz stated: “We are very excited and thrilled to add to our roster a player with an exceptional career.
“He’s demonstrated his qualities as a striker at the highest level in Europe. His instinct in front of the goal, his experience and his leadership are all attributes that will help the team on the field.”
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are likely to cross paths with Drogba when New York City FC and Los Angeles Galaxy face the Impact, while former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker will be his team-mate at the Saputo Stadium.
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