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Drogba player/owner of soccer team in US

Press Association logoPress Association 13/04/2017

Champions League winner Didier Drogba has confirmed that he has signed to play for American soccer team Phoenix Rising and will be part of their ownership group.

Phoenix 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.

The 39-year-old Ivorian had been without a club since leaving Montreal Impact last year.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," Drogba was quoted saying in a statement on the club's official website.

"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 organisation 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 scored 65 intertnational goals for the Ivory Coast and amassed 17 major trophies during his career, which included spells with Chelsea, Marseille, Galatasaray and Shanghai Shenhua.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission," Phoenix Rising Club Governor Berke Bakay was quoted saying in the club statement.

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