Drogba signed with Shanghai Shenhua in June, and the Ivorian star officially joined his new club on Saturday. He arrived at Pudong International Airport, and adoring fans greeted him with a hero’s welcome.
Many packed the terminal singing and chanting the new Drogba song, “Didier Drogba la la la la la.” When the jet-lagged striker emerged from the tunnel, pandemonium ensued. He shook a few hands and signed a couple of autographs, while policemen struggled to keep the crowd at bay.
Drogba then went outside where even more of the club’s fans were waiting. He waved and smiled before he was whisked off to the club’s stadium.
The Chelsea FC hero walked onto the field at Shenhua’s Hongkou Stadium where he again serenaded with the Drogba song, but this time there were tens of thousands of choir members.
He he was given a microphone and it took one word for him to make the crowd go berserk. He said “Ni Hao” (or “Hello” in English) and the crowd roared. He made a few remarks, put on his new jersey and did some more waving and smiling. All the while, the crowd was singing the internationally recognized tune of “Campeones” as if Shenhua had already won the Chinese Super League.
It will take took goals and victories for Drogba to cement his place in the hearts of his new club’s supporters, but they seem ready and willing to accept him as one of their own.
Drogba’s arrival rivaled that of any pop star in recent years. In fact, Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” himself, didn’t have that many fans waiting for him when he made his only visit to mainland China back in 1987. Granted, he was there on vacation and only spent one day in the country, but that’s not the point. Drogba has arrived in China and he brought the spotlight with him.
Watch Drogba’s Shanghai arrival in the video below.
Watch Drogba’s presentation at Shanghai Shenhua’s Hongkou Stadium in the video below.