Shanghai: Didier Drogba hopes he can raise the profile of Chinese football the way David Beckham has done for Major League Soccer.
The former Chelsea forward recently signed for Shanghai Shenhua after bowing out for the Blues by scoring the winning penalty in the UEFA Champions League final shoot-out.
Although the move had been anticipated, it is still seen as something of a surprise given that the 34-year-old has shown he can still perform at the highest level.
But the Ivory Coast international insists the time is right to try and achieve something more than winning trophies.
‘It was a professional decision based on what I`ve done for the last eight years with Chelsea and what I did in Europe, winning the Champions League,’ said Drogba.
‘I think it was the right time to go to a different continent because as I`ve said before I love to travel.
‘I love to learn and to see different cultures. So for me it`s a very good experience.
‘It`s a challenge. People say `yeah Chinese football is not so good`.
‘Maybe it`s a bit ambitious as a reference point to take David Beckham but people were saying when he went to America that it`s not a good move.
‘And what he has done for the MLS - the publicity - it has no price.
‘So that`s why I am going there as well. I want to do something good for Chinese football. I want to help them to grow and develop.’
BDST: 1045 HRS, June 24, 2012
Edited by: Manoz Halder, Newsroom Editor
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