Soccer star Didier Drogba has arrived in China. From the Time World article “Didier Drogba Becomes China’s Biggest Soccer Import” by Austin Ramzy (here)
When he arrived at Shanghai’s Pudong airport Saturday, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was greeted as a savior. Fans of his new team, Shanghai Shenhua, mobbed the 34-year-old Ivory Coast star, chanting his name, shooting photos with their phones and waving Ivory Coast and Shenhua flags before he hopped into a black BMW with the team’s director. Later in the day, Drogba told a press conference that his move was about more than his reported $300,000-a-week salary, which would make him one of the highest paid players in the world. “Money is not the most important,” he said, the Associated Press reported. “I am here for a whole new experience.”
China, the world’s biggest exporter, is now becoming a key importer of thirty-something-year-old soccer stars, and Shanghai is the leading destination. At the beginning of this year Shanghai Shenhua signed Nicolas Anelka, Drogba’s former Chelsea teammate, to help propel it to the top of the Chinese Super League. During his first game, against rivals Beijing Guoan, Anelka scored and then raced to the visitors’ end to celebrate with a small contingent of fans who traveled to the capital. But the team lost 3-2, and Shenhua has been lackluster ever since. It is now ranked 12th in the 16 team league, just three places out of the relegation zone….
From Wikipedia (here):
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (born 11 March 1978) is an Ivorian footballer who plays as a centre forward for Shanghai Shenhua. He is the captain and all-time top scorer of the Côte d'Ivoire national football team (Ivory Coast). He is best known for his career at Chelsea, and has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign player and is currently Chelsea's fourth highest goal scorer of all time. His key attributes include his physical strength, ability in the air, and his ability to retain possession of the ball…..