Michael Essien | Ghana Black Stars

Michael Essien

In 2005, Chelsea fought off stiff competition from Manchester United to pay £24.4 million for a Ghanaian central midfield with a fine reputation after some outstanding performances for Lyon – but few could have predicted just how crucial Essien would become for the Blues.

He moved to France in 2001, joining Bastia from Liberty Professionals, and reached the French Cup final in his debut season before joining Lyon, where two Championship medals and the 2004-05 French Players’ Player of the Year award followed. Michael Essien will play midfielder for Ghana Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup Brazil games.

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