Didier Drogba has admitted that the Chinese Super League he will play in next season is a poorer standard than the MLS, but says he decided to join Shanghai Shenhua for ‘personal reasons’ and not the quality of football.
Drogba ended his eight year stay with Chelsea this summer and recently announced he will head to China to ply his trade with Shanghai.
The Ivorian had offers from North America sides but eventually chose to head east, and says that he opted for a ‘new challenge’ to help develop football in Asia rather than playing football at a higher level.
"No, I don't think China is ahead of MLS," Drogba said, speaking at a press conference to promote the World Soccer Masters. "I think [my decision] was a personal choice."
"I've played many games here with Chelsea over the years and I've seen the evolution [of American soccer]. When we came here in 2004, the stadiums were busy but not really. In 2010 it was amazing. The footballing has improved a lot in America.
"So it wasn't about the [quality], it was a personal choice and my decision."
He added of his decision to move to China: "I am a man of challenges. When the opportunity came up, having played already in France and England, it was interesting for me," the Ivorian said. "To go and try to build something new in a different league and a different continent. To get more people involved in the sport over there in [China]. I love to travel and for me, it's a good experience."
Drogba also revealed he hoped to develop relations between China and Africa in order to help develop his charitable efforts in his home continent.
"I want to help build a relationship between China and Africa. I think that's very important for the future," Drogba said.