Friday, 24 July, Kolkata : Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba was offered a whopping US $1 million by Atletico de Kolkata’s co-owners to become the marquee player of the Indian Super League side though the high-profile player is yet to respond, according to a report in Kolkata.
The 37-year-old Drogba, who called time on his second spell at Stamford Bridge at the end of last season, was offered a four-month deal by Atletico de Madrid, one of the co-owners of the Kolkata-based ISL franchise team, to play in the second edition of ISL football later this year.
According to a report in the ‘Evening Standard’, Atletico proposed to pay Drogba US $1 million plus an unspecified bonus in addition to his living costs and travel to India and undertake pre-season with the ISL champion side next month before competing in the October 3-December 20 league.
The newspaper said that Drogba’s camp is yet to make a decision on his future. ISL clubs must confirm their marquee players by July 31.
“This is a real statement of intent from clubs in the Indian Super League, who are passionately trying to put India on the global football map,” Drogba’s UK-based agent Baljit Rihal was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Since leaving Chelsea as a Premier League winner in May, Drogba has attracted the interest of several clubs including Major League Soccer sides Chicago Fire and the Montreal Impact.
Drogba has played 104 times for Ivory Coast, scoring 65 goals, before calling time on his international career after the FIFA World Cup last year. He captained his country in three FIFA World Cups — 2006, 2010 and 2014.
In his glittering club career, he played for Chelsea in 254 matches in two stints — between 2004 and 2012 and last year. He was part of English Premier League winning Chelsea sides in 2004 and 2005 and that of 2012 UEFA Champions League winning team.