The Montreal Impact have joined the ranks of MLS teams to sign a superstar this year, as the club announced on Monday they have signed forward Didier Drogba as a Designated Player. In order to land Drogba, the Chicago Fire received general and targeted allocation money from the Impact, in exchange for Drogba's MLS rights, as Chicago had the discovery claim on Drogba.
Drogba, 37, comes to Montreal after a second stint with English Premier League side Chelsea, and he won the Premier League title with them last season. Altogether, in a career spent with French teams Le Mans, Guingamp, and Marseille, Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua, Turkish club Galatasaray, in addition to Chelsea, Drogba has won four EPL titles, three English League Cups, four FA Cups, the UEFA Champions League, a Turkish Super Lig title, a Turkish Cup and SuperCup, and numerous individual awards over the years. He was also a longtime Cote d'Ivoire international, serving as captain and playing in three World Cups with his national team.
"It's an honour to welcome Didier Drogba to the Impact," said Impact President Joey Saputo in a statement. "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."
It is unclear when Drogba will be eligible and first available for selection. The Impact's next game is Saturday against New York City FC in New York.