Didier Drogba has joined MLS side Montreal Impact as their designated player following his release from Chelsea at the end of last season.
The Ivorian, 37, had been rumoured to be in talks with another MLS club, Chicago Fire amid interest from Inter Milan and an unnamed club in Qatar. The Impact acquired Drogba's rights from Chicago Fire yesterday.
In a statement on their website, Montreal announced the following.
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"The Montreal Impact announced on Monday that the club has acquired Ivorian striker and Designated Player Didier Drogba, in a trade with the Chicago Fire, in return for general and targeted allocation money. He will officially join the roster upon receiving his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and his Canadian work permit."
Several of the club's management spoke following the high-profile signing:
"Leader, winner, champion"
“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,” added Vice-President, International Relations & Technical Development Nick De Santis.
“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 scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea over a two-year spell and won every domestic honour with the Blues and was the hero in May 2012 when they beat Bayern Munich on penalties to finally land Europe's biggest prize, the Champions League.
A short spell at Chinese side Shanghai Shenua followed where he linked up with former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka before Drogba headed back to Europe and joined Galatasaray, winning one league title and one Turkish Super Cup.
He joined Chelsea again last season on a one-year deal, scoring seven goals and helping them win a fourth Premier League title and the League Cup.
Drogba will join a number of high-profile stars in making the move Stateside in recent months. Premier League legends Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are with New York City and LA Galaxy respectively, whilst former Italy World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo has joined Lampard in New York where former Spain striker David Villa is captain.
Drogba's former club Chelsea are currently in Montreal for their pre-season tour of North America and have been using the Impact's training facilities as their base.
They play Barcelona in Washington DC in the early hours of Wednesday morning GMT before flying back to London ahead of the Community Shield versus Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.
Montreal Impact currently stand in sixth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. They play MLS newcomers New York City away on August 1.
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