Accomplished Premier League veteran Jermain Defoe became the latest England international to embrace Major League Soccer after Toronto FC ratified an £8m agreement with Tottenham Hotspur in a transfer that nets the striker an estimated £68,000 to £90,000 per week over the course of four years.
Toronto had been courting Defoe for four months and an ambassador for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the sports company who count the soccer outfit (as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Marlies) amongst it's properties, began to liaise with the goal-scorer in order to sell the city, culture and it's way of life to the 31-year-old hotshot.
That ambassador was renowned hip hop star and rapper Drake, who achieved success with hits such as What's My Name (with Rihanna) and The Motto (with Lil Wayne) and reflected in the Toronto Sun yesterday: 'I don't know if I had an influence on him coming here… I think that all I did was give him the necessary information about a city he didn't know much about.'
He continued: 'I told him how great it's been to me and how great I assumed it would be to him. We had a great conversation. We built up a personal relationship. I'm excited to see him begin his career here. I just do what I can. [MLSE president Tim Leiweke] is the boss - it's all Tim, really. I was just a piece of the puzzle, I guess.'
Defoe joins the 22,000 capacity BMO Field outfit on February 28 and leaves White Hart Lane having embedded himself firmly into Lilywhite history by becoming the 20th player to register a century of Premier League goals, returning a total of 143 goals to be the fifth all-time Spurs scorer and, with 23 European goals, the club's all-time top goalscorer in continental competition.
image: © OliverN5