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Didier Drogba returns to Montreal for Bernier vs. Ronaldinho legends game

This will be Drogba’s first game at Stade Saputo since Nov. 22, 2016. 

Nov 22, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact forward Didier Drogba (11) interacts with fans after the first leg game against the Toronto FC of the MLS Eastern Conference Championship at Olympic Stadium. (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Didier Drogba will once again wear a Montreal Impact jersey. The former Ivorian international is on a roster of former Impact players to play a legends game Aug. 4 at Stade Saputo. 

An Impact squad led by former captain Patrice Bernier will square off against former Brazilian internationals captained by Ronaldinho.

Bernier said he contacted Drogba for the original June 23 date of the game, but he was not available. When the match was rescheduled for August, the organizing group reached an agreement with Drogba. This will be Drogba’s first game at Stade Saputo since Nov. 22, 2016. 

Following his time at the Impact, Drogba joined Phoenix Rising of the second-tier USL Championship. He led Phoenix to the league final in November 2017. He then retired from a 20-year playing career later that month at age 40. Drogba is now the vice president of Peace and Sport, an organization based in Monaco that promotes sport as a tool for peace. 

Among the former Impact players joining Bernier and Drogba are MLS-era teammates Justin Mapp, Cameron Porter, Hassoun Camara, Heath Pierce and Jeb Brovsky. Notable pre-MLS Impact players joining the squad are Mauro Biello, Nick De Santis and Nevio Pizzolitto. The only goalkeeper announced to the squad is Greg Sutton. 

Valerio Gazzola, the Impact’s very first coach, will lead the Montreal squad. Gazzola led the Impact to an American Professional Soccer League championship in 1994 in the club’s first season. 

Among the notable players joining Ronaldinho on the Brazilian squad is Helton Arruda. Known simply as Helton, the goalkeeper had 232 appearances for FC Porto in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Full rosters: 

Montreal Impact

Players: Greg Sutton, Didier Drogba, Mauro Biello, Justin Mapp, Cameron Porter, Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Jeb Brovsky, Patrick Leduc, Nick De Santis, Nevio Pizzolitto, Rocco Placentino, Eduardo Sebrango, Wandrille Lefevre

Coach and staff: Valerio Gazzola, Mike Moretto, Aldo Ricciuti

Brazil

Players: Rafael, Helton, Sandro Barbosa, Fernando, Thiago Coimbra, Bruno Carvalho, Fabricio Carvalho, Athirson, Tony Menezes, Ronaldinho, Assis, Roberto Brum, Felipe Adao, Marcelo Sander, Edinho, 

Coach and staff: Kalil Sehbe, Nereu Maydana, Edinho, Junior

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