Michael Essien
Michael Essien
Michael Kojo Essien is a Ghanaian footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Ghanaian national team. He is a midfielder who has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert boundless energy in supporting offensive and defensive play. Essien can also play in the defending position, as a right back or centre back. Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country.
Michael Essien's personal information overview.
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Michael Essien leaves Chelsea to join AC Milan
USA Today - about 3 years
The 31-year-old has lost his first-team place in recent years and spent last season on loan.
Article Link:
USA Today article
AC Milan agree deal to sign Chelsea's Essien
Reuters.com - about 3 years
ROME (Reuters) - AC Milan have reached an agreement with Chelsea to sign Ghana midfielder Michael Essien who has traveled to Italy for a medical, the English Premier League club said on Friday.
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Soccer-Essien ends Ghana exile for World Cup qualifier
Yahoo News - over 3 years
Aug 28 (Reuters) - Michael Essien is poised to make a first international appearance in more than two years after being named as a surprise inclusion in Ghana's squad for a key World Cup qualifier against Zambia next month. The Chelsea midfielder returns to the side after a long self-imposed exile, along with AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng and Dede Ayew of Olympique Marseille, who had also previously refused call-ups from the Black Stars. The trio's inclusion added depth to an already strong 26-man squad named by coach Kwesi Appiah for the home tie in Kumasi on Sept. ...
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Yahoo News article
Essien to return for Ghana
Yahoo News - over 3 years
Michael Essien is preparing to come out of international retirement to aid Ghana in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
WATCH: Ronaldo Nets Another Hat Trick
Huffington Post - about 4 years
By Keeghann Sinanan, Goal.com Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up for his eagerly anticipated clash against former club Manchester United with an inspirational performance to lead Real Madrid to a 4-1 victory over Sevilla at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. The Portuguese international struck his 20th career Madrid hat trick and assisted another, as los Blancos got back to winning ways in la Liga, after their 1-0 reverse at Granada last weekend. Ronaldo teed up Karim Benzema to bundle home his 50th Liga goal, before taking matters into his own hands with a stunning second from just outside the box before the half hour mark. The 28-year-old continued his deadly display in the second half, plundering two more goals prior to his withdrawal to a thunderous ovation. Gonzalo Higuain and Hedwiges Maduro were both sent off before Manu Del Moral scored with two minutes remaining to provide a crumb of consolation for the visitors. Diego Lopez began in goal against the club he left ...
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Huffington Post article
WATCH: Ronaldo Hat Trick Lifts Madrid
Huffington Post - about 4 years
By Charlie Scott, Goal.com An impressive performance after the break from Real Madrid saw Los Blancos romp to a 4-0 derby victory over Getafe in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu, with all four goals being scored in the second half including three by Cristiano Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scintillating form with a well-taken hat trick in a 10-minute span that takes his tally in the league this season to 21. Sergio Ramos opened the scoring for the home side that extended its unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions. Madrid manager Jose Mourinho appeared to have one eye on the Copa del Rey semifinal against Barcelona this coming Wednesday as he rested some key players for this game, and it was only after Sami Khedira was introduced at halftime that his side clicked. Following a scoreless first half in which Ronaldo looked like the most dangerous player on the pitch, and twice came close to scoring only to be thwarted by Getafe's goalkeeper Miguel ...
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Huffington Post article
WATCH: Ronaldo Scores Late Winner in Champions League Thriller
Huffington Post Sports - over 4 years
By Oliver Platt, Goal.com Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning goal in the 90th minute as Real Madrid secured a 3-2 victory against Manchester City after an incredible second half at the Santiago Bernabeu. All five goals were scored in the final 21 minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo picking up the winner in stoppage time. Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov twice gave Manchester City the lead but Real Madrid equalized twice thanks to goals from Marcelo and Karim Benzema. Dzeko came off the bench to give the visitors the lead after a surging run from midfield from Toure, but Marcelo quickly replied with a curling shot. The home supporters were left stunned when Kolarov's free kick drifted untouched into the bottom corner of Iker Casillas' goal but Benzema again pulled Madrid back with a sublime turn and finish. And Ronaldo ensured that Jose Mourinho's team put their early season woes behind them with a dipping shot that flew past both Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart. B ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Teammates surprised by Ronaldo blues
Dawn - over 4 years
“There has been too much made of his words. Maybe he needs more affection from everyone, I don’t know, but if that is it, he will receive it from us,” teammate Alvaro Arbeloa said. -Photo by AFP MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo’s sadness has come as a surprise to his Real Madrid team mates, defender Alvaro Arbeloa said as he joined up with the Spain squad on Tuesday. Portugal forward Ronaldo hit the sports headlines after Sunday’s win over Granada, when he failed to celebrate the two goals he scored and later told reporters he was “sad” for “professional” reasons, and that the club knew why. “I don’t know what’s up with Cristiano. It was a surprise for us as much as for you, we found out after the game,” Real full back Arbeloa told reporters. “At Madrid, we are a family and we will support him in any way he needs, just as we would do with Mesut Ozil, Michael Essien or whoever.” Local newspapers and radio stations have been full of speculation about the reasons behind the 27-year-o ...
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Dawn article
Mourinho call enough to persuade Essien
Yahoo News - over 4 years
Ghana midfielder Michael Essien described Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho as being "like a father" to him on Saturday after agreeing to move to the Spanish capital on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
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Yahoo News article
Real Madrid Sign Essien on Loan From Chelsea
NYTimes - over 4 years
Real Madrid have agreed to take Ghana midfielder Michael Essien on loan from Chelsea for the rest of the season, the Spanish champions said on Friday,
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NYTimes article
Football transfer gossip (August 29): Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Arsenal
Yorkshire Evening Post - over 4 years
Check out latest football transfer gossip around the leagues. Is your favourite player tipped for a move? Wayne Rooney, 26, fears Manchester United are preparing to offload him for £40m. Full story: Daily Mirror England winger Theo Walcott has rejected a new Arsenal contract and could be sold for £15m with Manchester City and Liverpool favourites to sign the 23-year-old. Full story: The Times (subscription only) Former Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba, 34, and Nicolas Anelka, 33, could be sold by Shanghai Shenhua because of an escalating row among the Chinese club’s shareholders. Full story: Guardian Turkish club Fenerbache are preparing an £8m bid for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, 29, and have enquired about his Portuguese team-mate Raul Meireles, 29. Full story: Daily Mail Newcastle will only accept offers for Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini, 30, Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote, 26, or French playmaker Yohan Cabaye, 26, if they are too good to turn ...
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Yorkshire Evening Post article
Chelsea’s Europe hopes resting on the final
The Express Tribune Blogs - almost 5 years
LONDON: Chelsea will have to win the Champions League final if they are to compete in next season’s edition after a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday ended their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish. Change of fortunes for Chelsea Just three days after beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley, Chelsea were 3-0 behind inside half an hour at Anfield following an own-goal from Michael Essien and goals from Jordan Henderson and Daniel Agger. Ramires scored for Chelsea early in the second half before Jonjo Shelvey ended any hope of a comeback with his first Premier League goal. England’s top four clubs will enter next term’s Champions League unless Chelsea beat Bayern Munich at the German club’s ground in the final on May 19. If Chelsea win, it will deprive the team in fourth of a place in the preliminary round. More was asked of the team: Dalglish Victory in their final home league game of the season took Liverpool into eig ...
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The Express Tribune Blogs article
Liverpool Live Blog: Reds Controversially Fall at Final Hurdle, Chelsea Lifts FA Cup With 2-1 Win
NESN - almost 5 years
Final, 2-1 Chelsea: It's all over. Chelsea has won the FA Cup for the fourth time in six years by virtue of a 2-1 win over Liverpool. All the talk will center around Carroll's goal that wasn't. Did it cross the line? Replays were inconclusive, but the only person whose opinion counts thinks it did not. That cannot overshadow the contribution LFC's record signing made to the game. The Reds were lost for 55 minutes, but Carroll came on and gave them more than a goal. He unsettled Chelsea's defense and gave the Reds a genuine shot at winning. Chelsea was the better team for much of the game, and the two goals it scored were a reflection of its advantage in composure and efficiency. Blues' defender Cole becomes the first player to win the FA Cup seven times. Di Matteo's triumph means an Italian manager has won the cup three straight years. That's all for now and thanks for joining us. Let's discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for so ...
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NESN article
Chelsea Vs. Barcelona: Player Ratings
SB Nation - almost 5 years
.dots { background:url('http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1019395/dot.gif') repeat-x bottom;} .statcont { float:right;width:160px;padding:3px;margin:0px 0px 6px 12px;background-color:#EEEEEE} .statwords {background-color: #EEEEEE;} We beat Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. I think that was pretty cool. You can find community player ratings for the Chelsea boys (along with all the stats you could possibly want, courtesy of WhoScored.com) after the jump. Yay! Petr Cech - GK 8.9 Minutes played90 Touches37 Passes10/17 Shots faced6 Saves made5 Goalkeeper claims1 Graham says8 Kept a clean sheet against Barcelona. Read that again. Teams don't do that very often. Petr Cech was up to the challenge whenever Barcelona came calling, although in truth they never really forced him into any world-class saves. A Carles Puyol header was about the best on-target effort the Catalans could muster, and although his woodwork was rattled tw ...
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SB Nation article
EPL Transfer Talk: Top 20 Transfers Made in the Premier League so Far - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Africa has produced great players who have graced the Premier League, including Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton Wanderers 2002-2006), Didier Drogba (Chelsea 2005-present), Michael Essien (2005-present), Frederic Kanoute (West Ham 1999-2003, Tottenham 2003-2006)
Article Link:
Google News article
Giants Egypt, Cameroon on brink of elimination - Times of India
Google News - over 5 years
Without Michael Essien because of another long-term knee injury, Ghana expects to beat winless Swaziland. If Sudan wins in Republic of Congo, the Black Stars will face the Sudanese in a group decider in the final round. Other established football teams
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Michael Essien
  • 2016
    Age 33
    On 24 January 2016 he scored his first goal for Panathinaikos in a 2-0 league away win over Levadiakos. http://yen.com.gh/35419-watch-michael-essiens-first-goal-panathinaikos.html
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  • 2015
    Age 32
    He was due to make his debut on 21 November 2015 against Panathinaikos' archrivals Olympiakos, but the match was cancelled.
    More Details Hide Details He played his first match a week later.
    On 2 June 2015, Michael Essien signed a two-year-contract with Greek club Panathinaikos.
    More Details Hide Details He missed the first three months of the season as he was recovering from a leg injury.
  • 2014
    Age 31
    Essien signed for Italian club Milan on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 27 January 2014.
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  • 2012
    Age 29
    On 3 November 2012, Essien scored his first goal for Real Madrid.
    More Details Hide Details During the last game of the season, and Essien's last game as a Madrid player, Essien scored his second goal for Real Madrid, a goal he dedicated to his manager José Mourinho.
    On 31 August 2012, Essien signed a season-long loan deal with Real Madrid, linking him up with José Mourinho, the manager who signed him for Chelsea.
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    On 21 January 2012, Essien featured as late substitute in Chelsea's 0–0 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.
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    Essien made his comeback for Chelsea from a serious knee injury on 9 January 2012, playing for 75 minutes of the reserves' 3–2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
    More Details Hide Details He made his 150th Premier League appearance for Chelsea as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Sunderland.
  • 2011
    Age 28
    However, Essien began training lightly in late November 2011.
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    In pre-season training for the 2011–12 Premier League season, Essien ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, and received surgery on 11 July 2011.
    More Details Hide Details His recovery was said to take up to six months.
  • 2010
    Age 27
    After missing the 2010 FIFA World Cup through injury, Essien had a bright start to the season for Chelsea.
    More Details Hide Details He scored the only goal in a pre-season friendly win against Crystal Palace and was an ever-present in Chelsea's unbeaten month of August. He scored a brace against West Ham United and he scored against MŠK Žilina in the Champions League. Essien also put in impressive performances against Marseille, Blackburn Rovers, and Fulham, a game in which he scored the only goal and received a red card. Essien again picked up an injury and missed two months of the season, during which Chelsea won just one out of nine games. He returned to score in the penalty shoot-out loss in the FA Cup against Everton but ultimately had a poor second half of the season. After Chelsea’s final game, the Ghana Football Association announced Essien had returned to the international squad.
    Essien returned to action on 17 July 2010 in a friendly against Crystal Palace and scored the only goal of the match to give Chelsea the win.
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    On 4 June 2010, Essien signed a two-year extension to his existing contract that will keep him at the club until 2015.
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    Essien was injured on international duty during the 2010 African Nations Cup and missed the rest of the English domestic season.
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  • 2009
    Age 26
    In the 2009–10 Premier League season Essien put in an excellent performance against Blackburn Rovers on 24 October 2009 and scored his first goal of the season with a swerving 35-yard shot on 52 minutes in a 5–0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
    More Details Hide Details He scored his first brace for Chelsea against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a header and a low shot from outside the box, and came close to completing his first hat-trick for the club with a flurry of second half shots, one of which was tipped onto the bar by Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
    On 6 May 2009, Essien scored a stunning left-footed volley in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, a tie that Chelsea ultimately lost due to the away goal rule.
    More Details Hide Details The goal was later voted as Chelsea's goal of the season by the club's fans.
    However, on 7 March 2009, he came on as a substitute in the second half of the FA Cup game against Coventry City.
    More Details Hide Details In his second game back from the knee injury, Essien scored just before half time to give Chelsea a vital away goal against Juventus in the Champions League first knockout round. Chelsea went on the draw the match 2–2 and through to the quarter-finals 3–2 on aggregate. He made his first league start from injury against Manchester City, and scored the only goal in the match.
  • 2008
    Age 25
    It was feared Essien would miss the 2008–09 Premier League season after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage on 5 September whilst playing for Ghana.
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    In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final.
    More Details Hide Details He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.
  • 2007
    Age 24
    He also extended his contract on 12 March 2007.
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    On 12 December 2007, Essien was nominated for the 2007 African Footballer of the Year a third consecutive time he had been nominated.
    More Details Hide Details He was runner-up to that year's winner Frédéric Kanouté. On 22 July 2008, Essien signed a new five-year deal with Chelsea, keeping him at the club until 2013.
    He was voted 15th Best Player in the World at the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Awards.
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    On 10 October 2007, he was nominated for the prestigious 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and on 21 October 2007 Essien was also nominated for the 2007 Ballon d'Or Award for the third consecutive year as well.
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    On 12 August 2007, Essien grabbed the winner with his first goal of the 2007–08 Premier League campaign, as Chelsea defeated Birmingham City, to set an English record for unbeaten league matches at home – eclipsing Liverpool's previous top-flight record of 63 set between 1978 and 1981.
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  • 2006
    Age 23
    On 16 May 2006, Essien was selected to be part of the team that represented Ghana at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
    More Details Hide Details He played in midfield with team captain Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari. Essien played in Ghana's 0–2 defeat to Italy, their 2–0 victory over the Czech Republic, and the 2–1 victory over the United States, and helped Ghana become the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup. However, Essien was suspended for Ghana's second round match against Brazil and could only watch as Ghana lost 0–3. Upon the team's return to Ghana, Essien said that the team had gained invaluable experience and would be aiming to make the next finals, held in Africa for the first time in the tournament's history at South Africa 2010. In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Essien turned in another brilliant performance, driving the team to the semi-finals with his power-packed performances. In the quarter-final against Nigeria, when team captain John Mensah was dismissed on the stroke of the hour for a professional foul on Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie, Essien took over the captaincy for the rest of the game and eventually won 2–1. He was voted as an All-Star Player during the tournament. The Team of the Tournament was decided by the Technical Study Group (TSG) after careful observations of all the tournament's matches.
    His late dramatic equalising goal against Arsenal was also voted as Chelsea Goal of the Season for 2006–07.
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    Essien also scored a stunning late equaliser at home against Arsenal on 10 December 2006, as the game was going to end Chelsea's long unbeaten run.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    The following season Essien scored several important goals including his first Champions League goal for Chelsea in a 2–0 victory over Werder Bremen of Germany on 12 September 2006.
    More Details Hide Details Later in the competition, Essien scored a late winner in the quarter-final second leg against Valencia at the Mestalla to send Chelsea through to the semi-finals with a 2–1 victory on the night, and 3–2 win on aggregate. It was his first match back in the team after several weeks out with a knee injury.
    He won the 2006 BBC African footballer of the year award.
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    He was voted as the third Best African Footballer of the Year in 2006, a feat he achieved in 2005 as well.
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    One week later, he was nominated for the 2006 Ballon d'Or.
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    Essien was nominated for the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Award on 12 October 2006 where he placed 22nd.
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    His second goal came on 17 April 2006, against Everton with a powerful strike after an assertive burst through the defensive line.
    More Details Hide Details Essien ended his maiden season in England with two goals, both in the Premier League.
    Essien scored his first goal for Chelsea from a low cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips on 11 March 2006, in a 2–1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
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    In January 2006, Essien was himself stretchered off the field, after a challenge from West Ham United captain Nigel Reo-Coker, and was sidelined for three weeks.
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  • 2005
    Age 22
    On 15 December 2005, he was handed a two-match ban by UEFA for a controversial tackle on Dietmar Hamann, which resulted in his suspension from Chelsea's Champions League second round tie with eventual European champions Barcelona.
    More Details Hide Details Essien apologised to Hamann for the challenge – stating while he desires to be perceived as a player who "unsettles" opponents, he was not a malicious or an unsporting player; Hamann publicly accepted Essien's apology.
    He made an assist in his full debut against West Bromwich Albion, and he replaced the injured Claude Makélélé in the defensive midfield role against Sunderland in the 2–0 win on 10 September 2005.
    More Details Hide Details He soon cemented his place in José Mourinho's side, starting in 31 domestic league games, and 11 appearances in the other cup competitions.
    He made his debut as a second half substitute against Arsenal on 21 August 2005, wearing the number 5 on his shirt.
    More Details Hide Details The game ended with a 1–0 victory to Chelsea.
    He placed 22nd in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details His acclaim drew attention from Chelsea which he eventually signed for. On 14 August 2005, Lyon and Chelsea agreed a £24.4 million fee for the Ghanaian, finally ending one of the longest-running transfer sagas. At the time, the fee made Essien Chelsea's most expensive signing of all time, beating the £24 million they paid for Didier Drogba the previous summer. The transfer went through on 19 August. The transfer came under scrutiny in the Stevens inquiry report, which expressed concerns because of the lack of co-operation from agents Pini Zahavi and Barry Silkman.
    He was also nominated for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
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  • 2004
    Age 21
    Essien also helped Lyon to reach the quarter-finals of the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League where he put in dynamic performances and scored five goals in the tournament.
    More Details Hide Details Lyon were eventually eliminated from the tournament in a penalty shoot-out against PSV Eindhoven. At the end of the season he was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year. His honour started a record streak of UNFP Player of the Year awards for Lyon players, with the streak coming to an end in 2008 following Karim Benzema's victory.
  • 2003
    Age 20
    He made his club debut in the team's 2003 Trophée des champions match against Auxerre on 27 July 2003.
    More Details Hide Details In just the 5th minute of play, Essien scored his first goal for the club. Four minutes later, Diarra netted a goal. Lyon won the match 2–1 giving Essien his first club honour as a player. In just the third match of the campaign, Essien scored his first league goal for the club in a 3–1 victory over AS Monaco. He featured regularly for the rest of the campaign making 33 more league appearances and scoring two more goals against Bordeaux and Rennes, respectively. On 23 May 2004, Lyon sealed their third consecutive league title by defeating Lille 3–0 at the Stade Gerland. Essien appeared as a substitute in the match. In the UEFA Champions League, Essien appeared in eight of the ten matches Lyon contested and the club was ultimately eliminated by Portuguese club and the eventual champions Porto.
    At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
    More Details Hide Details During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship. In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history. At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup.
    Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003.
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  • 2002
    Age 19
    He made his competitive senior debut in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations against Morocco on 21 January 2002. but had played for Ghana in a pre-tournament friendly against Egypt on 4 January 2002.
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    In the 2002–03 season, Essien developed into an undisputed starter under new manager Gérard Gili.
    More Details Hide Details However, his tenacious and physical style of play also began to take form as he collected a staggering 12 yellow cards in league play. He opened the new campaign by scoring on his season debut against Lens in a 1–1 draw and converted five more league goals, which included one in a surprising 2–0 victory over the defending champions Lyon. Following the campaign, in which Bastia finished mid-table for the third consecutive season, Essien drew interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon, and Marseille. Paris Saint-Germain made Bastia the best offer and it was accepted, but Essien rejected PSG's contract offer, and instead agreed terms with the two-time defending champions Lyon, who paid Bastia €7.8 million for the transfer. Upon his arrival, Essien was assigned the number 4 shirt and played as a box-to-box midfielder, which allowed him the freedom to protect and assist playmaker Juninho Pernambucano while defensive midfielders Edmilson and Mahamadou Diarra assisted the defence and directed the distribution.
    On 12 January 2002, Essien scored the equalising goal against Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome to even the match at 2–2.
    More Details Hide Details He also scored a goal in the Coupe de la Ligue against Le Mans. Future Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba converted a goal for Le Mans in the match.
    Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16.
    More Details Hide Details He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch. Born in Accra to Aba Gyandoh and James Essien, Essien attended Gomoa Nyanyano DC Primary and JSS. He began his football career after graduating from St. Augustine's College in Cape Coast, playing at a local club called Liberty Professionals.
  • 2001
    Age 18
    In 2001, even though he was one of the youngest players in the tournament, Essien took part in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the Black Satellites in Argentina.
    More Details Hide Details The Satellites finished runners-up to hosts Argentina. His exceptional performances captured the attention of many and was widely tipped to be one of Africa's next rising stars.
  • 2000
    Age 17
    He ultimately finished the 2000–01 campaign with only 13 league appearances and one goal, which came in the return leg against Metz in a 3–2 defeat.
    More Details Hide Details The following season, Essien was given an opportunity by manager Robert Nouzaret to play in central midfield and flourished in this new role. Essien formed midfield partnerships with Nicolas Dieuze and Cyril Jeunechamp and scored vital goals in victories over Nantes, Lorient, and Guingamp.
    In July 2000, Essien was signed by Division 1 club Bastia and made his debut for the club on 30 September 2000 in a league match against Metz appearing as a substitute for captain Laurent Casanova.
    More Details Hide Details Essien did not immediately command a consistent place in the team, being deployed in various positions in the back four.
    European scouts began to take notice, and Essien had a trial at Manchester United in April 2000.
    More Details Hide Details He played in the club's Under-17 team's defeat to Derby County. Manchester United offered him a contract, but he was ineligible to obtain work permit in the UK. He therefore considered joining Belgian feeder club Royal Antwerp until he was eligible to move to England. His mother meanwhile preferred a move to France instead.
  • 1999
    Age 16
    Essien's international career started with the Ghana U-17 national team, the Black Starlets, when he played in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand and won the bronze medal.
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    Essien broke through when he played in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.
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    Essien is a Ghanaian international. At youth level, he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up.
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  • 1982
    Born on December 3, 1982.
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