Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has joined the Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact on an 18 month deal. Chicago Fire had initially acquired Drogba’s rights after they filed a discovery on the player. But the possibility of playing for the French speaking Canadian club in Montreal proved too much for the Ivory Coast striker.
37 year old Drobga has played for Chelsea 381 times across two spells at the West London club. His trophy haul includes four Premier League titles, three League Cups, four FA Cups and two Community Shields. He also hit the winning penalty with his last kick of the ball during his first spell at Chelsea when the Blues won the Champion’s League in 2012.
Didier Drogba is also the Ivory Coast’s all time top goal scorer, having netted 65 times in 105 international appearances. This, along with his goal scoring exploits at Chelsea when he scored 164 goals over nine seasons, caused the Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo to express his delight at Drogba’s signing. Saputo said, “[This is] one of the biggest days in [the] club[‘s] history. 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. His arrival will be beneficial in every aspect”.
The Montreal Vice President, Nick De Santis, said, “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”.
Drogba joins former West Ham and Aston Villa player Nigel Reo-Coker at the Saputo Stadium, and his journey to the MLS will see him cross paths with another Chelsea legend in Frank Lampard. The former Chelsea midfielder now plies his trade with New York City FC. Major League Soccer has seen an influx of former Premier League players in recent times, with Liverpool’s former captain Steven Gerrard being one of the most high profile of those when he left the Merseyside club in order to join LA Galaxy this summer.
Drogba has his work cut out if he aims to help Montreal Impact to the same kind of success he has enjoyed at Chelsea and Galatasaray. Impact, who have been members of the MLS since 2012, finished bottom of the league last season. They are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference, one place above Frank Lampard’s New York City FC.