Sports News of Saturday, 25 July 2015
The Ghana international has looked back on his time at Stamford Bridge and discussed the egos that populated the club
Ghana international Michael Essien has remembered his time at Chelsea with Jose Mourinho and shed light on what made the team such a success during the Portuguese coach’s first stint in charge.
“We had a great group of players with a manager who was always behind us and kept pushing us,” the Panathinaikos powerhouse began, speaking to The Guardian.
“We had players with big egos and big characters but at the same time they were good men as well. Mourinho has a big ego as well – but in a good way. It was easy for him to manage those kind of players. He is still the same man. He’s still tough.”
The Black Star has enjoyed a magnificent relationship with Mourinho—the man he refers to as ‘Daddy’—and was signed by the coach twice, at Chelsea and at Real Madrid.
The veteran initially joined forces with the world-class manager in 2005, when the former FC Porto boss paid £24.4 million to bring the Ghanaian to Stamford Bridge.
Essien would remain at the club for the next nine years, excluding a one-year loan to play under his mentor at the Bernabeu.
The 32-year-old left Chelsea in 2014, moving to AC Milan, before recently completing a switch to Greek giants Panathinaikos.
He moves to Athens as one of the most decorated players ever to sign for a side in Greece’s top flight, having won two Ligue 1 titles with Olympique Lyonnais and two Premier League crowns with Chelsea.
He also lifted the Champions League with the Pensioners in 2012.