Not in it for the money?! Is Didier Drogba having a laugh?

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So there you have it, Didier Drogba did not go to China for the money (depending on what you read his weekly salary for Shanghai Shenhua ranges from £180000 to over £300000 a week). He joins a lengthy and rapidly expanding group of high profile players to secure lucrative moves to other continents and then readily claim they do so for the prospect of a new challenge.

Do these distinguished footballers actually expect us to believe they have moved from big time Leagues in the twilight of their career just for the challenge? Drogba has added he could have easily moved to another big club in Europe, but decided against it to promote the beautiful game in far away Asia. Really, Didier? After being one the best big game players of your generation, a player who has thrived in trophy winning moments you turned down the chance of another big club, you turned down some of Europe big boys due to a personal mission?

There are different ways of looking at this. One is that Drogba had no choice but to move to China because no top club was willing to pay high wages for a player who has well exceeded the 30 year mark and has slowed markedly in the last couple of years. Although, you sense the likes of PSG would have taken a punt on the big man safe in the knowledge he retains the power and technique to trouble many defenses.

No one can blame Drogba for leaving Chelsea, the Champions League triumph was the closing chapter in a marvelous story. It was the perfect time to leave, as the pensioners seek to finally get the best out of Torres and rebuild with youth. Though Drogba’s commitment to Chelsea can never be questioned, he has been tempted away in the past and he is not the sort who would have any moral qualms about representing a rival club outside England.

Drogba may have now won everything for Chelsea, but does he really want to be playing in China next season instead of the Champions League?

Some will say it is a smart move considering his brilliant end of season form had the air of a man draining the last drops of his considerable powers before they wane forever. However, can we expect a warrior like Drogba to have harbored similar feelings, would he not have felt he had another two top-level seasons left in him? Could not have experienced an Indian summer of the type Pirlo is currently enjoying?

Of course he could have, so why has Drogba gone to China? Well, if it was for money then this writer could understand. Drogba has originated from the harshest habitats in Ivory Coast and poured back a considerable amount of money since, helping his countrymen in their plight. If he admitted, like a man, the lure of money had played a big part, it would have been a refreshing admission. But to claim the money was irrelevant is insulting our intelligence.

You feel Drogba was tempted to China by the prospect of earning huge amounts of easy cash in return for playing football in cruise mode. Henry and Beckham may have departed to America for money but they were decidedly washed up with no chance of playing again for a European heavyweight. Drogba’s form in the last months hinted he had more to give. If he truly did shun another powerhouse, you can accuse him betraying his own ability and the attitude that allowed him to perform so long at the top with superhuman endeavor.

And wouldn’t that be worse than just admitting he wanted a payrise?

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  • Liam Tomkins says:

    Obviously money played a huge factor, but there must be some truth in his claim that the move weren’t for financial reasons. Madrid, Anzhi, even Barcelona were reportedly keeping tabs on him, and yet he decided to join Shanghai. Madrid especially, have the ability to afford his wages, and Mourinho is, as we know, a HUGE admirer. Drogba stated he didn’t want to strengthen any rivals, domestically or foreign, and Anelka, one of is closest mates, must surely have played a role in his capture. So maybe it was just a mixture of different factors… Surely if he and the clubs had wanted, Barcelona/Madrid/Anzhi would have signed him, even on his high salary.

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