Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Chinese Super-League side Shanghai Shenhua.
After winning the Champions League with Chelsea last season, Drogba decided to leave Stamford Bridge and pursue a new challenge away from the Premier League.
Drogba, 34, will join up with former team-mate Nicolas Anelka in Asia, where it is reported that he will earn up to 25 million pounds throughout the duration of his contract.
The Ivory Coast captain was delighted to make the big switch to Chinese football.
“I have considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but feel that Shanghai Shenhua FC is the right move for me at this time,” Drogba said.
“I am looking forward to a new challenge, to experiencing a new culture, and excited about the new developments in the Chinese Super League.
“When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans. I hope to help promote Chinese football around the world and further improve the links between China and Africa.”
Shanghai owner Zhu Jun also expressed his excitement over Drogba’s imminent arrival.
“We have been wanting to sign Didier for a while, and are very happy that it has finally happened,” Zhu Jun said.
“He is an incredible player, who has won so many trophies in his career, we feel that his experience and ability will be a very valuable asset to our squad. Shanghai is one of the most influential cities in the world, and we are very excited to welcome Didier here.”
Former Argentina coach Sergio Batista replaced Jean Tigana as manager in May, and heaped praise on the club’s new signing, thanking owner Zhu Jun for his support.
“Drogba is a very good soccer player, his outstanding skills and amazing experience will give us motivation to improve our games,” Batista said.
“It is my honour to invite him to join in our team.
“At last I have to say that the club owner Zhu Jun did his utmost to bring Drogba to Shenhua.”
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