Michael Essien is a Ghana international football player who currently for the Spanish giants Real Madrid on loan from the English and European giants Chelsea. He is adept both as a defensive midfielder as well as an attacking midfielder. He plays as a box-to-box midfielder at times and bears the nickname ‘The Bison’.
Essien commenced his footballing career at a native Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals FC and moved to French side Bastia in the summer of 2000. He played 65 league matches in three seasons at Bastia and scored 11 goals.
In the summer of 2003 French powerhouse Lyon signed Essien from Bastia for 7.8 million euros. He was mainly deployed as a defensive midfielder at Lyon and was one of the best players in the French Ligue 1 during his stay with Lyon. He was voted as the 2005 Player of the Year by UNFP.
In the summer of 2005 Chelsea signed Essien from Lyon for 24 million. He soon settled himself into the Chelsea midfield first as a defensive midfielder but then became more of an open player as his versatility started to attract attention. He won the BBC African Footballer of the Year award in 2006. In recent times Essien’s progress at Stamford Bridge was inhibited by injuries, but he still managed to make more than 160 Premier League appearances for the Blues.
Essien won the Premier League in 2005-06 and 2009-10 with Chelsea, the FA Cup in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 and the Champions League in 2011-12.
In August 2012 Essien joined Real Madrid on loan for the 2012-13 season.
Essien made his international debut for Ghana in 2002 and played at the 2006 World Cup for his nation and was their best player in the competition. He has played over 50 matches for his nation so far.