Didier Drogba has signed for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact.
The 37-year-old former Chelsea striker left Stamford Bridge last season having played 381 games, scoring 164 times. He won four Premier League titles in two spells with the London club and a bunch of other trophies, including the Champions League in 2012.
Drogba is a national hero in his Ivory Coast homeland. And it’s not just for being their all-time top scorer, with 65 goals in 105 international appearances. Drogba has also given back millions of dollars of his vast wealth to build schools, hospitals and other worthy projects. He also helped stop the civil war in Ivory Coast.
Montreal president Joey Saputo said getting Drogba is “one of the biggest days in the club’s history.”
He added that “it’s an honor” to have him at Impact and hopes he will literally have an impact there.
Drogba will be a designated player, meaning his salary won’t be restricted by the MLS salary cap. He had a chance to join Chicago Fire, another struggling team, but ultimately preferred Montreal, partly because the Canadian city’s official language is French.
Impact have existed since 2012. They finished bottom of the table last season.
Drogba follows former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard in moving to North America. The 37-year-old midfielder has joined New York City.
There is a trend of veteran Premier League footballers moving to the MLS. Besides Drogba and Lampard, Steven Gerrard left his beloved Liverpool for Los Angeles Galaxy this summer where he joined former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.
Another former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips, has signed for New York Red Bulls, joining his younger brother Bradley at the MLS club.
The 33-year-old winger made 36 England appearances and made the move following nearly four years at QPR.
Wright-Phillips started his career at Manchester City and made 299 Premier League appearances.