It's old news at this point, but it bears repeating just because it would have been unbelievable at this time last year: Didier Drogba is currently training with Sacramento Republic.
As expected, the news that the legendary Chelsea forward is in town has caused quite a stir, with fans, players, and even politicians welcoming Drogba to Sacramento.
I want to welcome the great @didierdrogba to Sacramento. Enjoy your time training with @SacRepublicFC and get well soon! #BuiltforMLS— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) March 7, 2016
One Republic player who is particularly enjoying Drogba's stay is rookie Matt LaGrassa.
In an interview for the Beeman's Republic podcast, LaGrassa told me how he felt about sharing the Republic's training grounds at Consumnes River College with Drogba. "I actually was lucky enough to train with [Drogba] a little bit this morning," LaGrassa said. "The guy's just an outstanding professional, you can tell right away."
LaGrassa, who grew up a Chelsea fan, also said that he is "just trying to enjoy it as much as I can and soak up as much as I can - try to be a sponge, if you will - and soak up every little detail of what he does and how he does it and try to take in what I can from the experience, because he is... a world class athlete and a world class professional. He's Drogba."
LaGrassa also said that having the former Chelsea star is just another example of the Republic bringing international teams and talent to Sacramento in order to turn the city into a soccer capital, saying that it "is the kind of thing that attracts young players like me."
For the rest of the interview with LaGrassa, be sure to listen to this week's episode of Beeman's Republic, coming out Thursday. Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher to get it delivered directly to you.