Michael Essien was born in the small town of Awutu Breku in central Ghana. He began his professional career as a teenager playing for Liberty Professionals. Soon after, he was snatched by the French club Bastia.

The talented midfielder has won two English Premierships, an FA Cup, a League Cup, a Community Shield and, most impressive of all, a Champions League title with Chelsea. He was also named Africa’s player of the year in 2006.

During Michael’s career, he has played for an impressive line up of international teams such as Chelsea, a loan to Real Madrid, the Italian club Milan and most recently the Greek club Panathinaikos. Despite this, he remains dedicated to Ghana’s national team known as the Black Stars.

Despite these many accolades, his career has been hindered by a string of unfortunate body injuries. Michael last played for Greek club Panathinaikos and had a short stint back with the Ghanaian national team earlier this year.

Michael earned the nickname ‘The Bison” for aggressive tackling and athleticism on and off the field.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Chelsea welcomed Micheal back to their Cobham training complex this week. But he remains a free agent for now.

Michael, a talented father of two, is considered a legendary African sportsman. He is an inspiration to many aspiring soccer players. Below are some highlights from his career:

Dutch team PSV Eindhoven football players Kasper Bogelund (R), Theo Lucius (top C) and John de Jong challenge Michael Essien (front) during the final of the Peace Cup 2003 at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Photo: ANP/AFP/ Emmanuel Dunand
Dutch team PSV Eindhoven football players Kasper Bogelund (R), Theo Lucius (top C) and John de Jong challenge Michael Essien (front) during the final of the Peace Cup 2003 at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Photo: ANP/AFP/ Emmanuel Dunand

 

Lyon players Giovane Elber (L) and Michael Essien kissing the cup after their 3-0 win against Lille in the French Champions Cup final in Lyon in May 2004. Photo: ANP/Reuters/ Stringer France
Lyon players Giovane Elber (L) and Michael Essien kissing the cup after their 3-0 win against Lille in the French Champions Cup final in Lyon in May 2004. Photo: ANP/Reuters/ Stringer France

 

The then Black Stars player Michael Essien (2nd L) celebrating with unidentified teammates after winning a CAN-World Cup 2006 qualifier at Praia against Cap Verde 08 October 2005. Photo: ANP/AFP/ Seyllou
The then Black Stars player Michael Essien (2nd L) celebrating with unidentified teammates after winning a CAN-World Cup 2006 qualifier at Praia against Cap Verde 08 October 2005. Photo: ANP/AFP/ Seyllou

 

Chelsea's Michael Essien (L) dribbles the ball past Malaysian player Indra Putra Mahayuddin (L) during the friendly match between Chelsea and Malaysia at the Shah Alam Stadium, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29 July 2008. Photo: Flickr/ Shamshahrin Shamsudin
Chelsea’s Michael Essien (L) dribbles the ball past Malaysian player Indra Putra Mahayuddin (L) during the friendly match between Chelsea and Malaysia at the Shah Alam Stadium, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29 July 2008. Photo: Flickr/ Shamshahrin Shamsudin

 

Micael Essien being escorted by a medic during the UEFA Champions League match in 2009. Photo: Flickr/ Xfm 95.1
Micael Essien being escorted by a medic during the UEFA Champions League match in 2009. Photo: Flickr/ Xfm 95.1

 

Michael Essien (l) representing Real Madrid and Ajax player Derk Boerrigter at the Champions League in Amsterdam in 2012. Photo: ANP/ Jasper Ruhe
Michael Essien (L) representing Real Madrid and Ajax player Derk Boerrigter at the Champions League in Amsterdam in 2012. Photo: ANP/ Jasper Ruhe

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