Didier Drogba's move to Montreal Impact and MLS is official
The wait is over in Montréal: Didier Drogba is now a member of the Impact.
Drogba officially completed his move to MLS on Monday morning after the Impact completed a deal with Chicago Fire to obtain his rights in exchange for an undisclosed amount of general and targeted allocation money.
The former Chelsea striker, 37, joins the Impact on a free transfer after leaving the Premier League champions after the end of the 2014-15 campaign.
"It's an honor to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact," Montréal president and investor/operator Joey Saputo said in a release. "From the first conversation I had with him, I felt that he really wanted to play in Montréal. This is one of the biggest days in club history and his arrival to the club will be beneficial in every aspect."
The former two-time African Footballer of the Year flirted with a move to North America in the past, but he waited until completing his second spell with Chelsea before eventually sealing the deal. He finished his two spells with Chelsea with a total of 164 goals in 388 appearances, while he also claimed four Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League trophy during his time in London.
Drogba is yet another high-profile addition by a MLS side during the secondary transfer window. Andrea Pirlo made his New York City FC debut in the 5-3 victory over Orlando City on Sunday, while Steven Gerrard has played twice for LA Galaxy since arriving from Liverpool. Galaxy playmaker Giovani dos Santos and NYCFC midfielder Frank Lampard are also scheduled to make their debuts in the coming weeks.
The Côte d'Ivoire forward falls into that same category for a side that has never had a player of his stature within the ranks. Drogba pushed for a move to Montréal despite the interest shown by the Fire in recent weeks. The fit -- a French-speaking player in one of the largest French-speaking cities in the world -- makes sense for both club and player as Drogba enters the final stages of his career.
Drogba will link up with the Impact once he receives his Canadian work permit and the club receives his International Transfer Certificate.