About Michael Essien
After joining Chelsea from Lyon in 2005, Michael Essien emerged as one of the most complete midfielders in the world.
With a powerful engine, strength in the tackle, pace and an eye for the spectacular goal, the Ghana star is the complete package.
For years he was a vital cog in the Chelsea machine, with the Blues missing his drive and midfield influence when he was not in the side.
But injuries have taken their toll, with separate ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments in 2008 and 2011 ruling him out for several months.
Essien is currently on a season long loan at Real Madrid where he has linked up with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
- Name: Michael Essien
- Nationality: Ghanaian
- Date and Place of Birth: December 2, 1982 in Accra, Ghana
- Position: Midfielder
- Current Club: Real Madrid (La Liga), on loan Chelsea
- Previous Clubs: Lumezzane (2005-2006), Inter Milan (2006-2010)
- International Career: 2002 to present
The Move To Bastia:
In July 2000, Bastia signed Essien from Liberty Professionals FC in his homeland. He actually had trials with Manchester United, before joining Bastia, but administrative problems connected with obtaining a UK residence permit prevented any possible move. After initially playing a bit-part role at the French club, Essien found his niche in central midfield after filling in for an injured team-mate.
The 2002/03 season saw him score six goals and become a more physical specimen, his box-to-box play prompting bids from Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille and Lyon, with the latter ultimately securing his signature.
Reigning supreme at Lyon:
“The buffalo” stayed at Lyon for two years, with the club winning the league title in both seasons. Essien established a fearsome midfield partnership with Mahamadou Diarra as Lyon dominated domestically.
“Physically, but also in terms of his impact on matches, he’s the most impressive player I’ve played with,” his team-mate Sidney Govou was quoted on fifa.com.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was keen to keep hold of Essien, but after protracted negotiations Chelsea got their man. He didn’t come cheap, with Aulas known in the game to be a tough negotiator.
While impressing in his first season at Stamford Bridge, Essien attracted criticism for a dangerous tackle on Liverpool’s Dietmar Hamann in the Champions League.
But he curbed that side of his game, and began to be regarded as one of the league’s heavyweight midfielders, capable of going toe to toe with anyone in the land.
Essien, who claims to sleep 14 hours a day, has won two Premier League title with Chelsea, four FA Cups and a League Cup. He was a non-playing substitute as the Blues won the Champions League in 2012.
With injuries taking their toll, Essien became a bit-part player at Stamford Bridge, but it was nonetheless a surprise when he joined Real Madrid on loan in the 2011-12 season.
Essien is versatile enough to play in a defensive midfield role, or further up the pitch.
Essien led his country at under-17 and 20 levels, and was the youngest player at the tournament as Ghana finished second in the 2001 World Youth Cup.
He featured as the Black Stars reached the second-round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and was in imperious form two years later when Ghana reached the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup.
Essien missed the 2010 World Cup with a knee injury, but Ghana coped well in his absence as they became the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
Were it not for repeated fitness problems the midfielder would have earned far more caps for his country.
This Michael Essien Net Worth profile originated at WealthyGenius.com