Would soccer star Didier Drogba join Fire?
BY Seth Gruen For Sun-Times Media February 2, 2012 8:04PM
Ivory Coast national football team forward Didier Drogba warms before the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group B football match between Ivory Coast and Angola in Malabo on January 30, 2012 at the Malabo stadium. Drogba will start the game from the bench, as a substitute. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\508543190.jpg
Updated: March 4, 2012 8:17AM
Didier Drogba may not have the celebrity status of the LA Galaxy’s David Beckham.
But if the Fire were to sign the Chelsea forward, rumored as a possibility by several media outlets, it would be celebrated with the same pomp and circumstance in soccer circles.
The 33-year old Drogba has rejected a one-year contract extension from Chelsea, which has prompted rumors that he could sign with either the Fire or Galaxy.
Signing the Ivorian Drogba, considered one of the best strikers in the world, would be the biggest coup for Major League Soccer since the signing of Beckham.
“Drogba? Of course, yes.” Fire head coach Frank Klopas told goal.com about his club’s interest in Drogba. “There’s talks, but would he really come and what would it take?”
In a conference call Thursday, Klopas would not confirm or deny any talks with Drogba took place but did reiterate his interest in an international player of that caliber.
“It’s newspapers putting stuff out there,” Klopas said. “What do you want me to tell you? I just want to focus on my team now.
“Would I want a player like Drogba on my team? For sure.”
A team spokesman said that the Fire have not had any talks with Drogba or his agent, Thierno Seydi, and that Klopas was referring to “talks” surrounding Drogba coming to the MLS and not specifically the Fire.
Seydi has said that Drogba is seeking the contract that would pay him the most money.
Though rookie defender Austin Berry had not heard of the possibility of a Drogba signing before speaking with the Sun-Times, he welcomed the idea of adding a player of his caliber.
“Something like that would be fantastic,” Berry said. “Obviously, he would be a good player to have against other MLS teams. But on the other side of that, he would be someone that would help us as defenders playing against every day in practice.”
Berry will play center back for the Fire and is highly regarded for his ability to play balls in the air.
Currently, he plays with the team’s second group but could challenge for a starting role at some point.
“He brings some good qualities and we feel that he’s going to push the guys in front of him and do whatever it takes to, at some point, be a regular guy on the team,” Klops said. “And he’s going to be a regular contributor to the team this year.”