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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Drogba completes Shanghai switch

ESPN staff

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has completed his long-anticipated move to Shanghai Shenhua, signing a two-and-a-half year deal with the Chinese Super League club.

Drogba moves to China

Drogba, 34, who confirmed his intention to leave Stamford Bridge after scoring the winning penalty for Chelsea in the Champions League final shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich, will earn a reported 200,000 a week.

"I have considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but feel that Shanghai Shenhua FC is the right move for me at this time," he said. "I am looking forward to a new challenge, to experiencing a new culture, and am excited about the new developments in the Chinese Super League.

"When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans. I hope to help promote Chinese football around the world and further improve the links between China and Africa."

Drogba will join up with his new team-mates, including his former Chelsea strike partner Nicolas Anelka, in July.

Owner Zhu Jun, the video games magnate who runs the free-spending club, wants the Ivory Coast international to spearhead Shenhua's challenge for a Super League title.

"We have been wanting to sign Didier for a while, and are very happy that it has finally happened," Zhu Jun said.

"He is an incredible player who has won so many trophies in his career. We feel that his experience and ability will be a very valuable asset to our squad. Shanghai is one of the most influential cities in the world, and we are very excited to welcome Didier here."

New manager Sergio Batista paid tribute to the club's owner for attracting a player of Drogba's calibre to China.

"Drogba is a very good soccer player - his outstanding skills and amazing experience will give us motivation to improve our games," Batista said. "It is my honour to invite him to join our team."




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