The former Liverpool coach passed away on Monday at the age of 73.
Michael Essien pays glowing tribute to 'mentor' Gerard Houllier
Michael Essien has paid a glowing tribute to celebrated French coach Gerard Houllier following his demise on Monday.
Several tributes have poured in for Gerard Houllier for his impeccable contribution to the beautiful game and Essien who once fancied to play under the Frenchman has mourned the legendary coach.
Michael Essien disclosed that Houllier attempted to sign him for Liverpool when he as at Bastia, but it failed and when the Frenchman joined Lyon with him, Chelsea showed up.
On his Instagram page, Essien wrote: ''This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you Monsieur Gerard Houllier. We have lost a legend and a great personal friend and a mentor.
''I remember when you made an attempt to sign me @liverpool in my early days @bastia but that didn’t work out and when you finally joined @lyon we were both happy that we have finally gotten the chance to work together but again that didn’t workout because @chelsea came calling for me.
''Despite the fact that both of us wanted to work together, I will never forget the big role you played in my departure to @chelsea because you knew my desire to play in the premiership at that time.
Houllier made his managerial name with Lens and PSG in the 1980s before taking over the French national side in 1992.
However, after Les Bleus failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals - with Houllier blaming a mistake from winger David Ginola for their exit - he resigned from the role.
In 1998, he moved to England and took charge of Liverpool as joint manager alongside Roy Evans.
Evans resigned three months later and Houllier took sole charge, rebuilding the Reds and leading them to the unprecedented treble in the 2000-01 season.
The Frenchman managed the Reds from 1998-2004 and led them to five major trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup treble in 2000-01.
Prior to Liverpool, Houllier managed Lens, Paris St-Germain and the French national team, and after leaving the Reds won two Ligue 1 titles at Lyon.
His last managerial job was at Aston Villa, but he left in 2011 after nine months, following heart problems.