DIDIER DROGBA carved his name into Premier League history and he is now hoping to do the same in MLS.
The former Chelsea striker won the Prem four times and was instrumental in the Blues winning their first ever Champions League trophy in 2012.
He left the club after a second spell in 2015 to join Montreal Impact before signing for Phoenix Rising in Arizona.
Drogba, 45, scored 13 goals in 21 games and created history in 2017 when he bought the club – becoming the first-ever player-owner of a team.
At the time he said: "To own a team and be a player at the same time is unusual but it’s going to be very exciting. It’s a good transition because I want to carry on playing but I’m almost 40 and it’s important for me to prepare for my later career."
Phoenix Rising have gone from strength to strength under his stewardship, winning the USL Western Conference in 2020.
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They also finished top of the table at the end of the regular season in 2019 and 2021, before losing in the play-offs.
Phoenix regularly sell out their 10,000 capacity stadium and are one of the clubs knocking on the door for MLS, which has expanded its number of teams every year since 2016.
Drogba, who is worth an estimated £75million, is hoping to emulate David Beckham's success with Inter Miami – a club only accepted into MLS in 2020.
Beckham required the backing of billionaire brothers Jorge and Jose Mas to get over the line, but MLS commissioner Don Garber did previously identify Phoenix as a potential candidate.
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And in hotel magnate Alex Zhang Phoenix Rising have their own billionaire backer – a big step for a club only found in 2014.
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Financial backing is crucial as the expansion fee to join MLS is understood to be around £160million.
While Phoenix would also have to build a new stadium with indoor capabilities due to the soaring temperatures the city experiences in summer.
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