Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba received a hero’s welcome when he arrived in China today to take up a contract – reportedly worth $300,000 a week – to play for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League.
Hundreds of fans waving Ivory Coast flags and chanting “Drogba-la-la-la-la” greeted the former Chelsea striker as he arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, The Telegraph reported.
The reported salary, if correct, makes Drogba one of the highest paid footballers in the world.
But the 34-year-old insisted it was the opportunity for a “whole new experience” rather than the money that had attracted him to the struggling Chinese club, according to the BBC.
"It would have been easier for me to stay in Europe, but I chose China. Money is not the most important [thing]. I am here for a whole new experience,” said Drogba, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract.
Drogba joins a growing list of high-profile foreign players and coaches to move to China.
His former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka also plays for Shanghai Shenhua, which is struggling near the bottom of the 16-club league, the Guardian noted.
The team, majority-owned by businessman Zhu Jun, is coached by former Argentina manager Sergio Batista.
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