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In Pictures Michael Essien’s career path from Liberty to the Indonesian league

The Ghanaian international has played for a variety of clubs in his so far glittering career.

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19.jpg play Michael Essien

Michael Essien surprised the football world with his latest move to the Indonesian league. The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal to join Indonesian side Persib Bandung.

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.

READ ALSO:  Kwadwo Asamoah to get new Juventus deal

Pulse sports brings you a flashback of Essien’s career path in pictures.

Liberty Professionals (1998 - 1999)

Michael Essien began his professional football career with Ghanaian side Liberty Professionals in 1998.

essien.jpg play Michael Essien during his early days at Liberty Professionals

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.

Bastia (2000 - 2003)

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.

READ ALSO: Broos threatens to quit Cameroon, amidst link to Ghana job

Olympique Lyon (2003 -2005)

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.

FBL-FRA-L1-PSG-LYON play Essien won the Ligue 1 with Lyon (AFP)

Chelsea (2005-2014)

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.

READ ALSO: Bashir Hayford resigns as coach of AshGold

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.

Real Madrid (2012 - 2013)

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.

11.jpg play Mourinho again reunited with Essien at Real Madrid

But an escape route came, and his former boss, Jose Mourinho, took him on loan to his Real Madrid side.

READ ALSO: Why Kwesi Appiah will be appointed as next Black Stars coach

9.jpg play

(© Reuters)

The midfielder lined up for the Merengue for a year before returning back to Chelsea.

AC Milan (2014 - 2015)

But in the summer of 2014, Essien was again on the move. This time, joining Italian heavyweights AC Milan.

13.jpg play (© Getty Images)

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.

AC Milan v Club Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 play (Getty Images)

He managed just 20 appearances for the Rossoneri, scoring no goals, during his stay in Italy.

Panathinaikos (2015 - 2016)

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.

READ ALSO: Ghana Premier League: My salary can buy a player in Ghana – Yahaya Mohammed jabs GPL

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.

Persib Bandung (2017)

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.

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