Shanghai Shenhua welcomes Drogba

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Dispatching the winning spot-kick to hand your club its first ever Champions League trophy is the ultimate Hollywood ending to any player's career.

And for former-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba - after eight hugely successful years at Stamford Bridge - the script was written perfectly. There are few more stylish ways to an exit a club, and Drogba leaves as Chelsea's fourth highest all-time top goalscorer, a Blues legend and one of the best strikers of the Premier League era.

But that night in Munich will not be Drogba's final hurrah.

Even at 34-years-old, he's capable of summoning his hulking figure, and turning in the types of unstoppable, unplayable individual performances that left Premier League defenders quaking in their expensive boots.

Which makes Drogba's assertion that money was not the main motivator for his Chinese move difficult to believe. Barcelona were thought to be interested, as were Juventus, and the Ivorian could have had the pick of almost any club in England, France and Germany.

But with offers on the table to stay in Europe, Drogba chose China. He's not the first to opt to see out his final years in a footballing backwater, and he will not be the last.

But the Ivory Coast star should not be criticised for seeking one final payday. For a superstar with three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and that sacred Champions League trophy, there is little left to achieve in club football.

Perhaps the opportunity to stash away another league title in Italy or Spain, or another tilt at the Champions League. But with little leave to achieve, and nothing left to prove, Drogba's made a sound business decision to build his brand in one of the world's fastest growing economies.

His wage, reported at close to £200,000 a week, is worth £25million over the 2 and a half years Drogba has committed to Shanghai. Alongside him in the Chinese port city will be former Blues teammate Nicolas Anelka, and respected Argentina coach Sergio Batista - so Drogba isn't taking a step into the footballing unknown. The Chinese Super League is growing fast, supercharged by the massive wealth of the Chinese billionaires that now fund several of the teams.

Like Russia, Dubai and the MLS in America, China will continue to grow by attracting the likes of Drogba, Thierry Henry, David Beckham and Samuel Eto'o. These signings are largely commercial decisions but Shanghai will be keen to get Drogba away from the cameras and onto-the-pitch as quickly as possible.

Drogba's new club are languishing in 13th position, in a league of 16, and the Ivorian's assimilation into the team can't come soon enough for Batista. Fortunately, the former-Chelsea striker is still one of the most formidable strikers around.

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Didier Drogba

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