Galatasaray yesterday announced that they had signed Didier Drogba to an 18 month deal, which means that Drogba’s China adventure at Shanghai Shenhua is over just 8 months after he joined the club in June. At Shenhua he scored 8 goals in 11 games, in what is a relatively uncompetitive league. Drogba went there on a big contract which payed him about £200,000 a week, where he teamed up with ex-Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka, who’s also departing to Juventus.
There were many questions over how Shenhua could afford these giant wages, and there were rumors that players weren’t being payed on time. But if we’re honest, this has turned out best for Drogba as he’s far too good a player to be playing in the Chinese league. This is a player who on his day is the best striker in the world, and is simply unplayable.
By moving to Galatasaray it means that Drogba will be playing Champions League football once again, where his side will face Schalke in the last 16. This will come 10 months after Drogba won the big eared trophy for Chelsea with the last kick of his boot in a blue shirt on May 19th, in a day that will never be forgotten for any Chelsea fan.
When Drogba left Chelsea in June, everyone wondered where he would end up plying his trade for the last few years of his career, and he when he chose Shenhua this was very underwhelming. This is a league that isn’t competitive at all, and Drogba was simply too good to be playing his final years there, it was a big waste.
The fact that Juventus were also linked with Drogba, just shows the regard people still have for the striker, and the fact that a Champions League side have picked up Drogba tells us that Didier isn’t finished with this competition. With the move to Turkey it does provide another challenge for him, in terms of the Turkish league and to see whether he can help Galatasaray to a championship, which he undoubtedly will with his class.
Many of the papers suggested that when it was rumored that Drogba may leave China and seek a move to another club, that Chelsea would move for him. I for one am delighted that Chelsea haven’t gone back and signed him again. This isn’t down to the fact that Chelsea don’t need him, or that he’s not good enough, it’s just that he left in the best possible way.
In his final game for Chelsea he scored an equaliser in the 88th minute & scored the winning penalty to win the holy grail, you just can’t top that. Why would he want to come back for a few months and tarnish that lasting memory that we have of his last moment in a Chelsea shirt?
Drogba will go down in history as one of the best strikers to grace the Premier League, and as a player who gave any defender he encountered a hard game. This is a man who’s a hero in his local country also, as he is a hero not just for his footballing accomplishments, but also for his charity work in the country of Cote D’Ivoire, and the amount of hospitals & schools that Didier has set up.
People begrudged Drogba when he went to China, simply stating that he was being greedy with the amount being paid to him per week, but what people don’t realise is that this wasn’t all going in Didier’s back pocket. The money he was being paid, some of it was being straight into the Drogba Foundation, in order to be able to improve the quality of life of people in his home country. Very greedy I know...
This is a player who when he first arrived in the Premier League was hated by most because of his diving antics, which didn’t make him very popular, but by the time he left he’s won himself many fans of opposing clubs, down to the way he plays the game and his off the field activities. I’m so glad that Drogba has gone back to playing at a decent level, and hope that for the last few years of his career he can bring success to Galatasaray, as that’s the ending that Didier’s career deserves, and not just retiring out of the spotlight in the middle east. Good luck Didier.