The Ghanaian international has played for a variety of clubs in his so far glittering career.
However, the ‘Bison’ has seen it all in his playing career, having risen from the dusty pitches of the Carl Reindorf Park to the playable grounds of Stamford Bridge and the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Pulse sports brings you a flashback of Essien’s career path in pictures.
Michael Essien began his professional football career with Ghanaian side Liberty Professionals in 1998.
The then 16-year-old rose from the ranks and quickly became a household name on the local scene with his tackles and slick passing.
His impressive performances for the Ghanaian side earned him a contract with French club, Bastia.
Essien developed into one of the most complete midfielders in France, scoring 11 goals in 66 appearances in his three year stint with the club.
A move to giants Olympique Lyon soon followed, and Essien’s reputation was fast rising. He quickly became a mainstay in the club’s midfield, and helped them win two successive Ligue 1 titles.
He was also adjudged UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year of the year in 2005.
But his biggest breakthrough was yet to come. Essien’s growing significance at Lyon was soon noticed by Jose Mourinho who lured him to Chelsea. The Portuguese manager made Essien the most expensive African player when he forked out £24.4 million for the Ghanaian.
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The 34-year-old formed a remarkable partnership with Lampard, steering the Blues to another title triumph.
Essien’s most successful years came when he was at London, as he won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and the Uefa Champions league among other laurels.
At Chelsea, he won the club’s players’ player of the year in 2006.
A series of niggling injuries would however limit Essien’s playing time at Chelsea. The 2012 season particularly was not a good year for the midfielder as he was limited to a part-time role.
But an escape route came, and his former boss, Jose Mourinho, took him on loan to his Real Madrid side.
The midfielder lined up for the Merengue for a year before returning back to Chelsea.
But in the summer of 2014, Essien was again on the move. This time, joining Italian heavyweights AC Milan.
His frustrations on the bench of Chelsea led him to make the move to Italy. However, his stint with the seven-time Champions League winners would also plagued by injuries throughout.
He managed just 20 appearances for the Rossoneri, scoring no goals, during his stay in Italy.
The Bison was again on the move in 2015. And by the time it was announced that Essien was joining Greek side Panathinaikos, it became evident that his career was nearing an end.
His stint in Greece was also shortlived, as he managed just one season with Panathinaikos.
Essien was released by the Greek side in 2016 after a contractual standoff.
The Ghanaian midfielder is currently with Indonesian side, Persib Bandung – a move many expect to be his last in a fairly glittering career.
On Thursday, Essien was unveiled to the fans of the club, and although he is yet to kick a ball, the fans already know his worth.
Michael Essien is truly served the football world – both at club and international level – and will forever be remembered when he finally lays down his boots.