Drogba to join Galatasaray squad later this week
JOHANNESBURG - Agence France-Presse
Didier Drogba is expected to join his new teammates at Galatasaray after suffering another early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast. REUTERS photoIvory Coast legend Didier Drogba is set to join the Galatasaray squad later this week, CNN Türk has reported.
The 34-year-old has made a sensational one-and-a-half year deal with the Turkish champion last month, but has yet to join his new teammates since the former Chelsea star was with the Ivory Coast national team in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Following Ivory Coast’s shock exit from the competition, Drogba will join the club later this week, according to the Turkish broadcaster.
Drogba’s fellow Ivorian, Emmanuel Eboue, joined the Galatasaray squad today.
Drogba was the second of Galatasaray’s two blockbuster signings last month, following the purchase of Wesley Sneijder from the Netherlands.
Following the shock exit of Ivory Coast, Drogba is unsure of his international future.
Ivory Coast has been favourites for five consecutive Africa Cup tournaments, but the closest it came was finishing runners-up to 2006 hosts Egypt and 2012 surprise side Zambia.
After this string of failures, there has been widespread media speculation about the futures of “golden oldies” like Drogba, goalkeeper Boubacar Barry and center back Kolo Toure and Trabzonspor midfielder Didier Zokora.
“It is over,” was the response of Drogba to reporters when asked about the Africa Cup of Nations.
In the 2012 final in Gabon, Drogba he blazed over a regular-time penalty, allowing Zambia to force a 0-0 draw after extra time.
But despite Drogba making amends by converting a shootout spot-kick, Zambia won 8-7 on penalties for one of the most stunning Africa Cup final shocks.
“We must now look ahead to the 2014 World Cup qualifying competition -- with or without me,” added the striker.
The shattered Ivory Coast stars will turn their attention to the 2014 World Cup qualifying competition, starting with a home fixture against lightweights Gambia next month.
They visit Gambia and Tanzania during June and host Morocco in September and the group winners advance to a two-leg play-off for one of five African places at the World Cup in Brazil.
Ivory Coast started its campaign last year with a routine 2-0 home victory over Tanzania followed by a 2-2 draw in Morcoco, giving the team a one-point Group C lead.
Coach Sabri Lamouchi took Drogba off against Togo in the opening game, axed him for the second group match against Tunisia, recalled him into a virtual reserve team that faced Algeria, and chose him to start against Nigeria.