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Drogba joins Phoenix Rising as player and executive

Drogba left MLS side Montreal Impact in December after scoring 21 goals in 33 appearances. Credit: PA

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba has joined United Soccer League side Phoenix Rising as a player and executive.

Phoenix currently play in the second tier of US soccer, but as part of his executive role Drogba will be charged with helping the franchise secure one of four Major League Soccer expansion places.

I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC.

After seeing first hand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS.

– Drogba to Phoenix Rising's official website

Montreal Impact in contact with Chelsea over role for Drogba

Montreal Impact are "willing to accommodate" Didier Drogba's desire to help his former club Chelsea but expect the striker to return to Major League Soccer action next year.

The 37-year-old Ivorian joined the Impact in July, at the end of his second spell with the Blues, and he has been successful in Canada with a haul of 11 goals from 11 appearances.

Drogba could be returning to Stamford Bridge. Credit: PA

The 2016 MLS season begins in March but Chelsea are currently talking to Montreal with a view to securing Drogba's services in a possible coaching role under interim boss Guus Hiddink, who replaced Jose Mourinho last week.

The club tweeted: "We are currently in contact with Didier Drogba and Chelsea FC. We are doing everything we can to have him back with the Impact in 2016.

"We understand his attachment to his former club and his desire to help them. We are willing to accommodate him.

"But our objective is to have him back for another season, as agreed in his contract. This situation is out of our control.

"We would like to thank our supporters for their understanding and their patience."


Drogba nets hat-trick on first MLS start

Drogba seems to be enjoying life in the MLS. Credit: PA

Didier Drogba marked his first Major League Soccer start with a perfect hat-trick as the Montreal Impact won 4-3 against the Chicago Fire.

Nigel Reo-Coker set up the former Chelsea striker for his first goal in the 27th minute and after Jeff Larentowicz equalised from a penalty, Wandrille Lefevre headed the Impact back in front.

The Fire went 3-2 up through Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike but within six minutes, Drogba lashed home left-footed after Ignacio Piatti's quick free-kick and then nodded home his third after his initial shot was well saved by Sean Johnson to win the game.

Chelsea legend Drogba suffers defeat on MLS debut

Didier Drogba's Montreal Impact debut was soured by Philadelphia Union as Sebastian Le Toux fired a winner against the hosts at Stade Saputo.

Drogba couldn't find the net in his 30 minute cameo. Credit: PA

With the game still goalless heading into the final 30 minutes, former Chelsea striker Drogba was introduced from the bench, to a rapturous reception from a sell-out crowd.

But it would be another French-speaking player who broke the deadlock, with Le Toux turning Eric Ayuk's shot home at the far post in the 78th minute.

The 1-0 triumph sees Philadelphia pull four points clear of Eastern Conference basement boys Chicago Fire, who went down by the same scoreline at home to Colorado Rapids thanks to a first-minute goal from Dillon Serna.

Former Reading and Wolves forward Kevin Doyle sparked the move that sent Gabriel Torres down the wing and Serna was well-placed to tap in the cross.

Didier Drogba inspired by Chelsea manager speech

Didier Drogba admitted manager Jose Mourinho's half-time pep talk inspired Chelsea to put one hand on the Premier League title.

Mourinho gave his Chelsea players a rocket at half-time. Credit: PA

They will win the league with victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday following a 3-1 success at Leicester on Wednesday.

But Chelsea needed a half-time rallying call to come from behind following a sloppy first half and Marc Albrighton's opener at the King Power Stadium.

Drogba, who levelled just three minutes after the break, said:

A lot of things (were said), a few things you don't want to hear but a few things which were very good for us to hear.

You could see in the second half there was a change, a reaction, and that was the goal of the speech, to create a reaction. It's important to show the way and show reactions and I'm really happy I managed to do it.

The game didn't look good in the first half, the way we played and started. We are really happy with three good goals, we played very well in the second half.

– Chelsea striker Didier Drogba speaking to Chelsea TV


Striker Drogba wants to stay with Chelsea for long-term

Didier Drogba says he doesn't want to leave Chelsea in the summer when his contract expires.

It is thought the Ivorian will be offered the chance to take up a coaching role at Stamford Bridge when his playing days come to an end.

Didier Dorgba Credit: PA

"When you have achieved so much and won so many trophies like we have done in the past 10 years, that creates something special," Drogba said.

"I hope, and the club makes me believe, I am part of this big family, so we are going to find the best thing for both of us to promote the club in the best way."

Drogba added: "When I left this club (the first time), I was saying that I had done everything I wanted to do, but I think now that I did not do everything, I think there is more to do.

"I love this club and would love to be part of this club for the future, with the new players."

Drogba transfer to Chelsea probed in France

Droba joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2004. Credit: Reuters

The transfer which brought Didier Droga to Chelsea more than ten years ago is being investigated by French police, who are also looking into Samir Nasri's move from the same club to Arsenal in 2008.

Drogba officially joined Chelsea from Marseille for £28.8m in 2004, although it's alleged the French club only received £26.3m for the striker, who has since left and rejoined the Premier League leaders.

Marseille president Vincent Labourne was arrested on Tuesday in relation to the purchase of striker Andre-Pierre Gignac in 2010, with authorities also suspicious over how money was distributed in his move from Toulouse.

Drogba defiant after Turkish FA's 'Mandela vest threat'

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba responded to reports that he may be fined by the Turkish FA for displaying a shirt that read "thank you Madiba" by saying "if I had to, I would do it again and again."

Both he and fellow Galatasaray and Ivory Coast teammate Emmanuel Eboue revealed vests paying tribute to Nelson Mandela following the Turkish club's 2-0 win on Friday evening.

The Turkish FA are reportedly threatening to fine the pair because they did not seek permission to wear the shirts.

The Ivory Coast striker said on his Drogba Foundation Twitter page: "Not because of political beliefs - this man (Mandela) inspired me, a country, a continent, the world! Thanks again Madiba."

Former newspaper editor Piers Morgan said he would "happily pay" any fine Drogba might be given by the Turkish FA.

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