Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba arrived in China on Saturday, saying his move to Shanghai Shenhua was not motivated by money despite reportedly becoming the highest-paid player in the country.

“It would have been easier for me to stay in Europe, but I chose China,” Drogba said. “Money is not the most important. I am here for a whole new experience.”

Drogba said he would not be winding down toward retirement in China but eager to show his best.

“I am here to win matches and be the champion. I am not here to retire,” said the 34-year-old Ivory Coast International player, who played a key role in Chelsea’s winning last season’s European Champions League final.

Online video posted by Shanghai Shenhua show the star was welcomed at the Shanghai airport by chanting fans as he arrived to take up a two-year contract.

Drogba joins his former Chelsea strike partner Nicolas Anelka at Shenhua amid an influx of big-money talent to the Chinese league.

While the powerful forward had offers from other clubs, he was won over when Shenhua club owner Zhu Jun visited his home country.

“I was moved by them,” Drogba said of Shenhua’s high-level officials. “They are very ambitious, and that’s a tremendous challenge.”

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