China news

Drogba: China not as good as MLS

June 23, 2012
By ESPN staff

Shanghai Shenhua striker Didier Drogba does not believe that the Chinese Super League is as strong as the MLS, but is looking forward to the challenge in China.

Didier Drogba is currently in the USA before joining Shenhua in July
GettyImagesDidier Drogba is currently in the USA before joining Shenhua in July

Drogba, 34, left Chelsea at the end of the season after the club's maiden Champions League triumph - a victory that the Ivorian admits played heavily in his decision to move to the Far-East.

The powerful striker paid tribute to the development of football in the USA and hopes to play a role in Chinese football developing similarly.

"No, I don't think China is ahead of MLS. I think [my decision] was a personal choice," Drogba said. "I've played many games here with Chelsea over the years and I've seen the evolution [of American soccer]. When we came here in 2004, the stadiums were busy but not really. In 2010 it was amazing. The footballing has improved a lot in America. So it wasn't about the [quality], it was a personal choice and my decision.

"I am a man of challenges. When the opportunity came up, having played already in France and England, it was interesting for me," the Ivorian said. "To go and try to build something new in a different league and a different continent. To get more people involved in the sport over there in [China]. I love to travel and for me, it's a good experience."

Drogba also revealed that he hopes to build Sino-African relations with his move, with China playing a major role in the continent's development.

"I want to help build a relationship between China and Africa. I think that's very important for the future," Drogba said.