Ghanaian midfielder Micheal Essien is one of the most famous footballers to ever come from the African continent.
Essien has been a journeyman in football and his name will go down as one of the finest midfielders to play the game.
The midfielder who last played for Indonesian side Persib Bandung has made global news for both wrong and right reasons in the past.
Seems his good side overrides any bad side of his illustrious career as he is one of the most decorated African Footballers.
Here are 10 times Micheal Essien made global headlines for the right reasons
1. Essien signs for Chelsea
Essien signed for English Premier League side Chelsea for a £24.4 million transfer fee and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.
2. Essien wins Chelsea Goal of the Season award
He won the Chelsea Goal of the Season award in the 2006–07 season after scoring a stunning late equaliser at home against Arsenal on 10 December 2006 in a Premier League game.
Essien is BBC African Best player of 2006
He won the 2006 BBC African footballer of the year award.
Essien excels in 2006 World Cup
- He played superbly for the Black Stars and helped Ghana become the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup.
Essien nominated 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year
- On 10 October 2007, Essien was nominated for the prestigious 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and on 21 October 2007, he was also nominated for the 2007 Ballon d’Or Award for the third consecutive year.
He was voted 15th Best Player in the World at the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Awards.
Essien is Chelsea Fans’ best player for 2007
- On 15 May 2007, Chelsea fans voted Essien as Chelsea Player of the Year for his contributions in the 2006–07 season, becoming the first African to receive the honour.
Essien is nominated for 2007 CAF best player
- On 12 December 2007, he was nominated for the 2007 African Footballer of the Year, the third consecutive time he had been nominated. He was runner-up to that year’s winner, Frédéric Kanouté.
Essien scores stunning goal against Barcelona
- On 6 May 2009, Essien scored a stunning left-footed volley in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, a tie that Chelsea ultimately lost due to the away goal rule.
The goal was later voted as Chelsea’s Goal of the Season by the club’s fans.
Essien joins Real Madrid
- On 31 August 2012, Essien signed a season-long loan deal with Real Madrid, reuniting him with his former manager at Chelsea, José Mourinho.
At his introductory press conference with Real Madrid, Mourinho affectionally referred to Essien as “his son” while Essien referred to Mourinho as his “Daddy”.
Essien moves to Milan
- Essien signed for Italian club Milan on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 27 January 2014
‘Ghana will head to World Cup again in future’ – Asamoah Gyan
Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan, says even though he is disappointed Ghana did not make it to the 2018 World Cup, he is confident the nation will make a return to the tournament in future editions.
Ghana finished 3rd in their qualifying group behind Uganda and Egypt for this year’s World Cup and missed out for the first time after making three straight appearances between 2006 and 2014.
Gyan, in an interview with the BBC, states that the new crop of Black Stars players are capable of taking the nation back to the tournament very soon.
“We went to the World Cup between 2006 and 2014 and so, it seems we are used to going to the tournament. But we did not make it there this time and everyone is gutted at that.
But we are looking to the future because we have quality, young players coming through who also want to participate in the World Cup.
We did not participate but life goes on. We have to stay focused and wish the African teams in Russia well and then see what happens in the future.”
Gyan did not feature in Ghana’s recent friendlies against Japan and Iceland but the expectation is that he will make a return to the team when the 2019 AFCON qualifiers resumes later this year.
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