It’s official. Didier Drogba is now a member of the Montreal Impact.
“It’s an honor to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact”, said club president Joey Saputo.
In the byzantine world of MLS rules, the Fire actually held the rights to Drogba, one of the greatest strikers in English Premier League history, because they filed a discovery claim on him.
Chelsea has been using the Impact’s facilities as a pre-season training base since last week, so Braz got a chance to discuss Drogba with renowned coach Jose Mourinho.
The Fire announced the addition of former Toronto FC striker Gilberto as a Designated Player just prior to Montreal lifting the lid on their Drogba signing. Last year, Chicago went through a lengthy process in an attempt to sign US worldwide midfielder Jermaine Jones.
Drogba began his career in the French second division with Le Mans in 1998. The two-time Premier League Golden Boot victor left London for the first time in 2012, playing briefly with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and spending one year with Turkish club Galatasaray before moving back to Chelsea ahead of last season.
The Caps have August MLS games against Western Conference rivals Seattle, Salt Lake, Kansas City, Dallas and Houston, as well as the two-leg ACC final against Montreal and their CCL opener at home to Seattle on Aug. 5.
Drogba’s former Chelsea teammate, Frank Lampard has also signed for New York, but is yet to make his MLS bow. He won the UEFA Champions League title in 2012.
After leavingPremier League champions Chelsea in June, Drogba received interest from clubs in Qatar and Major League Soccer before opting to join MLS side Montreal, a French-speaking province in Canada. It was at Marseille that he caught the eye of Chelsea and earned a transfer to England.
At the worldwide level, Drogba played 105 games with the Ivory Coast National Team between 2002 and 2014, concluding his career as the Elephants all-time scorer with 65 goals, while also finishing in third place for most appearances. The long-serving captain retired from worldwide play in 2014.