Former Chelsea hero Michael Essien says it was a ‘great honour’ to play for the Black Stars of Ghana.
Essien announced his retirement from international football in 2018, after over 12 years of active service with Ghana.
The 37-year-old, who currently plies his trade with Azerbaijani side Sabail FK, last played for the West African giants in 2014 at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
He was one of the three players, alongside Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng, accused of masterminding the agitations for players appearance fees during the tournament.
“It was an honour to play for the Black Stars. It is the dream of every young footballer and thankfully I realized mine.”
“It was a pleasure to represent my country. I’m lucky because I’m the only player who has represented the country at every stage, starting from the U12, U15, U17, U20 to the Olympics Games with the U23 and straight to the Black Stars. I think I’ve done enough,” Essien told Carol Tshabalala.
Essien was asked if he is aware of the massive love Ghanaians have for him, he answered, “I hope so.”
He touched a bit on Stephen Appiah who captained the team to their maiden FIFA World Cup tournament in 2006.
“We looked up to Appiah during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. He was a great leader and person. He united and urged us to do everything in our power to qualify the country to the World Cup.”
Essien made his Ghana debut in 2002 and boasts of 58 caps as well as nine goals.
He was a key member of the country’s golden generation that played their first-ever FIFA World Cup in 2006.