News and opinions
31 August 2012
Michael Essien (Accra, Ghana, 12-03-1982) will play on loan to Real Madrid for the 2012/13 season. A midfielder with great physical performance, he's coming from Chelsea to reinforce the team led by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach knows the African football player well, having had him under his charge on the English team. Twice champion of the French League and another two times in the Premier League, Essien joins the white squad after disputing 243 games at Chelsea.
When he signed for Chelsea in 2005, Jose Mourinho couldn’t have been more eloquent. He used the word “multifunctional” to describe the capped Ghanaian. Because Michael Essien has one ability that stands out above all others, and that is his versatility. The new Real Madrid football player has developed in midfield most of his career, but he has also played right-back wing and defensive centre-back.
After shining for Ghana’s team in the World U-17 played in New Zealand in 1999, Essien made the leap to European football to sign for Bastia in 2000. Two seasons were enough to dazzle one of the greats and sign for Olympique Lyonnais in 2002. And three more to wind up on Chelsea. His physical strength has allowed him to achieve excellent performance on defence. But Essien also has a great ability, from midfield, to organize his team's attacks, run, and make goals. On the Chelsea team, the Ghanaian played 243 games and made 25 goals.
One of the most important years of his career came in 2006, since he won the first of two English Leagues with Chelsea and made his debut with Ghana in a World Cup. He is also a fundamental man for his national team, both on the defence and on the attack. Essien has been capped 52 times and has made nine goals.