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Didier Drogba moves to Montreal Impact
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Didier Drogba moves to Montreal Impact

Fola Akintomide

MLS side Montreal Impact have announced the signing ofChelsea legend Didier Drogba.

The 37-year-old Ivorian was a free agent following the end of his second spell with the Blues, for whom he scored 164 goals across nine seasons at Stamford Bridge.

The deal for Drogba also involves Chicago Fire. The American franchise had filed a discovery claim for the former Galatasaray player but Montreal have now acquired his rights for an undisclosed fee.

Montreal president Joey Saputo told impactmontreal.com: “It’s an honour to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact.

“From the first conversation I had with him, I felt that he really wanted to play in Montreal. This is one of the biggest days in club history and his arrival to the club will be beneficial in every aspect.”

Drogba, who won four Premier League titles with Chelsea, scored the late equaliser that forced extra-time in the 2012 Champions League final in Munich. The Londoners would beat Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out, with Drogba converting the winning spot-kick before leaving the club for Shanghai Shenhua.

“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,” said Montreal vice-president 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.” The 104-time Ivory Coast international joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2004 and twice scored 20 goals or more in a single league season. He also won the FA Cup four times and the League Cup three times.