NOT RETIRED YET

The Chelsea midfielder, Michael Essien, has made it clear that he has not retired from international football and he will make a comeback for the Black Stars after talking to the officials of Ghana Football Association.

In 2011, after returning from a severe cruciate ligament injury, Essien had clearly told Ghana Football Association that he didn’t want to be selected for the national team for some time as he wanted to focus on his club career. Since then, he hasn’t turned up for the Black Stars.
There had been a few reports that Essien has decided to retire from international football now, but, the Chelsea superstar has denied those reports.

Talking to the correspondent of a Ghanaian news channel a few days back, Essien said, “I haven’t quit international football yet. These reports are not true. I am hoping to play for my nation at some point of time in the future.”

“I can declare myself available for selection only after meeting the GFA officials. Before that, I can’t say when I will be coming back.”

Some former players often criticize Essien for not being 100% committed to his country. When asked about that, he said, “It’s not true at all. It hurts me when people say like that. I have always been fully committed to my country. Whenever I have worn the Ghana shirt, I have given my 100%.”

“I never said that I didn’t want to play for Ghana. I just said that I wanted a bit of a break. That’s it.”

Essien had made his debut for the senior team of Ghana against Morocco in the African Cup of Nations in 2002. He has so far featured for Ghana in 52 matches and has found the back of the net 9 times.

10TH CUP COMING SOON

Real Madrid have been able to reach the latter stages of the Champions league consistently in the last few years, and the midfielder Michael Essien believes that this kind of form will certainly get them towards the elusive 10th European cup this season.

Real Madrid hold the record for the most number of European cup titles with nine on the board. They have been looking to win the 10th Champions League for more than a decade. After managing to get past Manchester United in the last 16 stage, the team will be preparing to face the Turkish club Galatasaray in the quarter-finals.

Michael Essien was signed from Chelsea on a season-long loan deal. Even though they found first team opportunities limited during the early part of the Madrid career, he has been used often by the manager José Mourinho in recent months. Essien has also been employed in several positions like defensive midfield and right back. Essien has praised the manager José Mourinho by saying that he has transformed the Real Madrid squad in such a way that they are now capable of winning the Champions League. He has also praised the approach of Mourinho by stating that no other coach handles every aspect of the player like the Portuguese.

“We’re possibly in excellent form now. We’ve made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and it’s obvious to me that we have the players to win the title. So we have to keep working and we’ll see what happens. He’s a coach, but he’s also a teacher and a father. He speaks to everyone man to man and it’s something you notice because not a lot of coaches do that. They usually come out, set the tactics…but he does everything," said Essien, who could be the first player from Ghana to win the title.

CHARITY MATCH

Michael Essien is going to organize a charity match between the European XI and the African XI in Accra which is the capital city of Ghana. The match will be organized on 8th of June. A number of star players including Joe Cole, Didier Drogba, Kanu, Florent Malouda and Adebayor are expected to take part in the match. The match will be named as “Essien Game of Hope.”

This will be the second charity match organized by the Real Madrid superstar. The first one was organized a couple of years back. The funds from this match will go into the account of Michael Essien Foundation. This Foundation helps the needy people in Ghana.

When asked about this charity game, Essien said, “I am very excited about this match. We are organizing this match for a good cause. Our aim is to collect a huge amount of money from the match and help the needy people with that money.”

“I want the people of Ghana to turn up in huge numbers to watch this match and this will happen only if the star players will come here and participate in the match. So, we are trying to bring some superstars here.”

“Last time when we had organized a charity match in 2011, we had managed to collect reasonable amount of money. That match was a huge success and I want the upcoming match to be the same.”

When asked why the game is named as ‘Game of Hope’, Essien said, “This is because my aim has always been to provide hope to the poor people and sort out their problems.”

Essien is also expected to invite a few players of Real Madrid to participate in the match. One of the members of the organizing committee told the reporters that the players will reach Accra on 7th of June.

ESSIEN SUFFERS ALLERGIC REACTION

Michael Essien might not be able to play any more game for Real Madrid this year as the Ghanaian midfielder is suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Apart from allergic reaction, he has also been struggling with knee injury. According to some reports published in Spanish newspapers, Essien needs a few weeks to recover from all this and there is no possibility of him featuring for Madrid this year.

Essien is a contracted player of Chelsea and he had joined Real Madrid on loan at the start of the ongoing season. The performance of Essien in the current season has been decent so far. He has played 6 matches for Madrid in this season and has scored one goal.

While playing for Madrid in the match against Mallorca on 28th of August, Essien felt pain in his knees and had to leave the match. However, he got recovered before Madrid’s next La Liga match against Real Zaragoza. But, after a couple more games, he got injured again and was ruled out for a few weeks.

When asked about his injury, Essien said, “It’s pretty disappointing to be ruled out for such a long time. After the match against Levante, I was feeling so much pain that I couldn’t even put my shoes on. The physio clearly warned me that if I continue playing with this injury, it could get even more serious. So, I decided to have a bit of break.”

When asked if there is any possibility that he would made a comeback this year, Essien, “It all depends on how fast I will recover. But, frankly speaking, it’s very hard for me to make a comeback this year given the seriousness of my injury. I would probably get fit in the second week of January.”

CHELSEA GROWING IN CONFIDENCE

The Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has said that he is confident that the team will certainly growing belief and confidence following the 2-1 win over Arsenal in the weekend. This was certainly the biggest test Chelsea have faced so far this campaign.

The club has been trying to implement a different style of football following the arrival of technical players like Eden Hazard and Oscar. Roberto di Matteo is aware that it certainly will not be easy to change the style of play overnight. However, it can be only done by a gradual process and the victory against Arsenal will give a lot of confidence to the players in their efforts to do so.

Chelsea have spent close to £ 80 million in rejuvenating the attack of the squad. Even though it has not always been excitingly brilliant, the Chelsea manager reckons that the team will ultimately start playing great football once they understand each other. Only Fernando Torres and Juan Mata have been at the club since last season, while the other front players are new additions to the squad. Hence, they will take time before they can understand each other.

Roberto di Matteo will be taking his Chelsea squad for the second Champions League group match.

"I am really pleased with the way we played, away at the Emirates, with the performance and the consequences. That gives the team a lot of confidence and belief that now we can play differently. We have to. We need to change our style a little bit from last season. We still have a lot of work to do to improve as we have not been together for much time," said the Chelsea manager after the 2-1 win over Arsenal, which put the club four points clear at the top of the table.

ESSIEN WILL FIGHT

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has said that he will fight for his future at the club, despite reports linking him with a return to France. The 29-year-old midfielder was once regarded as the best defensive midfielder in the world. Apart from his defensive abilities, the former Lyon midfielder also had an impressive engine that helped him score very important goals for the club as well. However, after suffering two anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the last two seasons, his pace has dropped significantly. He has also not been able to nail down a first-team spot with the club.

As a result, it is thought that the club will be willing to listen to offers for the player. Chelsea have been extremely active in the summer transfer window in a bid to reduce the age of the squad. At 29 years of age, Michael Essien is definitely one of the experienced members of the squad. Hence, there have been rumours that Chelsea are willing to listen to offers for both Michael Essien and the 32-year-old midfielder Florent Malouda. The Ghana midfielder, though, has said that he wants to stay at the club and fight for his place. Michael Essien still has many years left on his current contract.

"My intention is to stay and I'm looking forward to a new season. I still have two more years here. I'm still here, I'm still around. I feel now that I am coming back to what I used to be. It's been a long road but I am almost there. It's always frustrating when you are injured and not playing but you have to work and stay positive. I'm the sort of person who is very calm, I'm a very positive person. I just get on with what I have to do, what work I have to do," Essien told the Telegraph.

ESSIEN WANTS TO START

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is one of the players looking to start the match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Chelsea will be playing in their second Champions League final on May 19 looking to win the competition for the first time. They lost their last match against Manchester United back in 2008 on penalties.

Michael Essien started the match back then, but he has been a shadow of the same player in the recent seasons. A number of knee injuries has meant that he has lost the driving force in the midfield. As a result, he has started less than 20 matches this season.

However, he seems to be finally overcoming the problems that he has faced in the last two seasons and slowly seems to be coming back to his best. The 29-year-old Ghanaian midfielder was regarded as one of the greatest in the world, but his performances of late have been the other way around. Michael Essien, though, started the match against Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the Premier league season. He was extremely impressive in the defensive midfield position for Chelsea. It has led to speculation that he might even start the Champions League final.

Due to the suspensions of both John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz and Gary Cahill remain the two proper centre backs for Chelsea. However, they are also struggling with hamstring injuries suffered in the matches against Tottenham and Barcelona respectively.

Due to the fact that they are major doubt to make it to the final, Chelsea interim manager Roberto di Matteo may actually field midfielder John obi Mikel in the centre back position alongside José Bosingwa. This would mean that Michael Essien could return to his favourite defensive midfield position in the biggest match for Chelsea this season so far.

ESSIEN OUT UNTIL JANUARY

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that it will not be until January that we get to see Chelsea's star midfielder Michael Essien back in action.

Michael Essien has been ruled out with an injury for quite some time now, but many were hoping that he will be returning to action in December. However, it has had not happened up until now, as Michael Essien does not seem to have made the sufficient regeneration from the injury. Now, the Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he may get to see Michael Essien only after a month. This will also crucially ruled him out of the African cup of nations.

Chelsea are set to lose a number of stars due to the African cup of nations, but Michael Essien will not be one who will travel to the African continent to play in this tournament. Michael Essien has been troubled by a number of knee injuries in recent seasons. He injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the summer, which has kept him out of the side throughout the season. Many were hoping that his return would be the perfect answer for Chelsea's midfield problems as of now, but it seems that Chelsea fans need to wait a little longer.

John obi Mikel has failed to deliver the promise, while Romeu – signed from Barcelona this summer – still lacks experience. In such a situation, the presence of Michael Essien would have seriously strengthened the Chelsea defence, but as it is, manager Villas-Boas has to do with out on the influential Ghanaian during the Christmas fixture list.

"We're looking at mid-January, that's the best we can think about. There was a setback at the beginning of December if I'm not wrong which took him back 10 days and that's extended into January, so I don't think he will go to the African Cup of Nations," said Villas-Boas.

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