Drogba not motivated by money

Striker says it would have been easier to stay in Europe

Didier Drogba: Looking forward to the challenge of playing in China

Didier Drogba has insisted he was lured to China by the opportunity to embark on an exciting new challenge, rather than the financial rewards.

Drogba sealed a move to Shanghai Shenhua earlier in the summer after deciding to bring the curtain down on a successful eight-year stint at Chelsea.

He landed in the country on Saturday and was welcomed by a huge crowd at the airport.

There have been reports that the Ivory Coast striker is being paid around $15m (£11.8m) per year with the deal bankrolled by club owner and online gambling magnate Zhu Jun.

Drogba joins his former Chelsea strike partner Nicolas Anelka at Shenhua amid an influx of big-money talent to the Chinese league.

"It would have been easier for me to stay in Europe, but I chose China," Drogba said. "Money is not the most important. I am here for a whole new experience.

No retirement

"I am here to win matches and be the champion. I am not here to retire.

"What I experienced at the airport this morning was unbelievable. Even when I was at Chelsea I never experienced anything like this.

"China is a big sports country and it is a big challenge. For me it would have been easy to go to another team in Europe but I chose China because of the challenge.

"I've been on holiday for three weeks and put on a little bit of weight so I will need to train a little bit. I'm going to speak with the manager, he has to make the right decision."