Ivory Coast and Chelsea icon Didier Drogba has signed for American side Phoenix Rising initially as a player before stepping up into an executive role at the United Soccer League [USL] club.

Phoenix are looking to join America’s top division the Major League Soccer [MLS] as an expansion franchise and Drogba will play a role in developing the club off the field.

Drogba has joined the ownership group at the USL side but will also feature as a player on their roster.

“I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC,” the 39-year-old legendary striker said in a statement on Phoenix Rising’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, who recently played for Montreal Impact of Canada, joins his former Chelsea team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips at the Arizona side as well as former Newcastle and QPR defender Peter Ramage and ex-Watford left-back Jordan Stewart.


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