Drogba arrives in Turkey to party atmosphere as ex-Chelsea hitman begins latest chapter with Galatasaray
17:59 GMT, 8 February 2013
18:09 GMT, 8 February 2013
Didier Drogba received a warm welcome as he arrived in Istanbul having agreed to join Turkish club Galatasaray in the January transfer window.
Former Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder received a similarly rapturous welcome when he arrived in the Turkey last month, and Drogba expressed his delight at joining the Dutchman having left Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua.
The Ivory Coast captain's arrival was delayed by his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
New chapter: Didier Drogba held up a Galatasaray flag after arriving in Istanbul this afternoon
But the former Chelsea striker's hopes of winning the tournament for the first time were scuppered when Nigeria put the Ivorians out.
Drogba stepped off the plane this afternoon and held up a flag with the club colours and crest printed on it before meeting up with head coach Fatih Terim.
When the 34-year-old arrived at Galatasaray's training base, he told Galatasaray TV: 'I've met with the coach, but it’s not the first time we’ve met. He just remembered me from when Cote d’Ivoire national team played against Turkey.
Warm welcome: Drogba received a similar reception to Wesley Sneijder after he arrived in Turkey last month
'I’m really happy to be here for me as it’s a new challenge, a new part of my life. I will do my best to be successful for the club.'
Drogba will link up with compatriot Emmanuel Eboue, who joined the Turkish champions from Arsenal in the summer of 2011.
Another former Chelsea striker who took the same path from Stamford Bridge to China has also returned to Europe.
Nicolas Anelka joined Shenhua in January last year, but decided to transfer to Italian giants Juventus, making his move to the Serie A champions last month.
In the mix: Wesley Sneijder has already made the switch from Inter Milan to Galatasaray