Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba arrived here Saturday to a rousing welcome from Chinese fans and insisted it was not money but the challenge in an unfamiliar land that lured him to China.
Hundreds of fans gathered to welcome the Ivorian striker as he joins Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, the Daily Mail reported.
Drogba, after winning the Champions League with Chelsea, signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the big-spending Chinese club for a reported weekly salary of 270,000 pounds.
"I decided to come here because when the club and the president approached me, I looked at the project and it came with ambitious ideas. “He wants to help football develop in China.
"I know China is a great sports country.
“So for me it was also a big challenge because it could have been easy for me to stay in Europe and go to another team, another big team," Drogba was quoted as saying.
"Really, I didn't come here with the idea of making a lot of money.
“I come here because it is a completely different challenge from what I have seen in Europe before."
Drogba, who scored 157 goals in 341 appearances for Chelsea making him the club's fourth all-time leading scorer, will join former teammate Nicolas Anelka in the country that is fast becoming a popular destination for retired footballers.