Michael Kojo Essien was born 3 December 1982 is a Ghanaian footballer who last played for Panathinaikos and the Ghana national team. He is a physically strong midfielder who has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert energy in supporting offensive and defensive play and for his powerful and tough tackling playing style which has earned him the nickname “The Bison”. Essien can also play as a defender, both on the right of defence and in the centre. Essien started his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining Bastia.
Essien Profile Overview
|Real Name:||Micheal Kojo Essien|
|Birthday:||3 December, 1982|
|Place of Birth:||Accra, Ghana|
|Net Worth:||$35 million (N13,562,430,000)|
Essien Biography & Early Life
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.
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.
Essien At Bastia
Future Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba converted a goal for Le Mans in the match.
In the 2002–03 season, Essien developed into an undisputed starter under new manager Gérard Gili. However, his tenacious and physical style of play also began to take form as he collected a staggering 12 yellow cards in league play.
Essien At Olympique Lyonnais
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 while defensive midfielders Edmilson and Mahamadou Diarra assisted the defence and directed the distribution. 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. He was also nominated for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year Award. He placed 22nd in 2005. His acclaim drew attention from Chelsea which he eventually signed for.
Essien At Chelsea
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.
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. His second goal came on 17 April 2006, against Everton with a powerful strike after an assertive burst through the defensive line. Essien ended his maiden season in England with two goals, both in the Premier League.
On 6 May 2009, Essien scored a stunning left-footed volley in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, a tie that Chelsea ultimately lost due to the away goal rule. The goal was later voted as Chelsea’s goal of the season by the club’s fans.
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. His recovery was said to take up to six months. Essien, however, began training lightly in late November 2011 and made his comeback on 9 January 2012, playing 75 minutes of the reserves’ 3–2 defeat to West Brom. He made his 150th Premier League appearance for Chelsea as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Sunderland. On 21 January 2012, Essien featured as late substitute in Chelsea’s 0–0 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Essien At Real Madrid (loan)
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. On 3 November 2012, Essien scored his first goal for Real Madrid. During the last game of the season – and Essien’s last game as a Madrid player – Essien scored his second goal for Madrid, which he dedicated to Mourinho.
Essien At Milan
Essien signed for Italian club Milan on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 27 January 2014.
Essien At Panathinaikos
On 2 June 2015, Essien signed a two-year-contract with Greek club Panathinaikos. The deal made him the club’s highest-paid player, with an annual salary of €800,000. He spent the first three months of the season recovering from a leg injury. He was due to make his debut on 21 November 2015 against Panathinaikos’ archrivals Olympiacos, but the match was cancelled. He played his first match a week later. On 24 January 2016, he scored his first goal for Panathinaikos in a 2–0 away league win over Levadiakos. After a season in Greece, Essien was left out of Panathinaikos’ squad for the 2016–17 season, with an expectation that he would be released. His termination by the club was confirmed almost three months later, after the two parties reached a mutual agreement over his release.
Essien returned to Ghana’s squad in August 2013 for the team’s final 2014 World Cup qualifiers. He appeared as a second-half substitute in a 2–1 defeat of Zambia as the Black Stars secured qualification to the final round. He started in both play-off matches against Egypt and was named in Ghana’s squad for the tournament finals. He made one appearance, coming on as a second-half substitute in the opening 2–1 defeat to the United States.
Essien Net Worth is valued at $35 million.