Didier Drogba confirmed on Wednesday that he has left Chelsea to join Chinese club Shanghia Shenhua.

The 34-year-old announced on his official website that he has signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

“Today I can inform you that I have signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua FC for a two-and-a-half year deal (until the end of 2014),” he said. “I will fly out to join up with the squad in July.

“I have considered all the offers I have received in the past few weeks, but I feel that Shanghai Shenhua FC is the right move for me at this time.

“I am looking forward to a new challenge and to experiencing a new culture, and I am excited about the new developments in the Chinese Super League.

“When Chelsea went to China last year, we had a great time and I met some amazing fans.

“I hope to help promote Chinese football around the world and further improve the links between China and Africa.” Drogba finished his Chelsea career in May by helping them beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League. He spent eight years at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances and helping the Blues to 10 titles.

He is the latest and most prestigious coup by the ambitious Shanghai club, following former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka.

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