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Didier Drogba Joins Phoenix Rising FC as Player and Co-owner

Didier Drogba has joined US side Phoenix Rising Football Club as both player and co-owner. The Ivorian and former Chelsea legend’s move is part of the MLS expansion franchise ownership group and will have vested interest in the ongoing success of the USL side of the club.

Phoenix Rising Club Governor Berke Bakay said,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising’s commitment to that mission.[/perfectpullquote]

“Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America.”

Drogba will help develop the team as a player before advancing to an executive role with the Phoenix MLS expansion franchise.

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

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“To own a team and be a player at the same time is unusual but it is going to be very exciting. I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch,”[/perfectpullquote]

Drogba said,

“It is a good transition because I want to carry on playing but I’m almost 40 and it’s important for me to prepare for my later career.”

Phoenix is in its fourth season in the Western conference of USL – the second tier of the American League system and the club hopes to become one of the four planned expansion teams in MLS over the next three years.

USL President Jake Edwards said, “I applaud Didier’s commitment to further the overall growth of the game in North America. He will be a great ambassador for our sport, using experience, talent, and vision to benefit fans, as well as fellow players.

“His invaluable mentorship will guide our young stars in the locker room and on the field, contributing to the future success of our league and the game for years to come.



Featured photo: Daily Mirror/Philip Coburn

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