Didier Drogba says MLS harder than Premier League in ways

Didier Drogba has said he thinks that playing in Major League Soccer is harder than playing in the Premier League, while adding he has plans to one day return to Chelsea, perhaps as manager.

Drogba, 37, had two separate stints at Stamford Bridge and found great success each time. In all, the Ivorian won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one Champions League trophy with Chelsea.

This summer, however, Drogba made a move to MLS and the Montreal Impact, where he scored 12 goals and led the team to the Eastern Conference semifinals before losing to out to Columbus Crew SC.

And despite all his experience as a player in Europe and on the international stage, he found the North American league presented serious -- and different -- challenges than the ones he faced in England.

"People think it's easy to play there, believe me it's harder than playing in the Premier League," Drogba said. "Because of the travel, you can stay at the airport three or four hours if you miss your flight.

"That's what makes it hard so as you can see there's not many away wins. And also of course there are also some very good players in this league."

Drogba wasn't the only former Premier League star to find playing in a new environment challenging, as first-year MLS player and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard warned his fellow European pros that playing in MLS isn't tantamount to a retirement league.

Gerrard, who joined the LA Galaxy this summer, was one of three older Europeans who failed to take the league by storm, along with New York City FC's Andrea Pirlo and former Chelsea and Manchester City player Frank Lampard.

Besides the challenges of MLS, Drogba also said he would like to return to the club one day as manager or in another senior role.

"I want to give back to the club which has given so much to me. I have agreed that with the club directors," Drogba told BBC Africa. "Why not manager? Why not sporting director, trainer at the academy or maybe an advising role for strikers?"