How a Young Boy from Ghana Made His Journey from School Team to Chelsea F.C.

We are all familiar with Michael Essien. The Ghanaian footballer’s 168 appearances for Premier League Club Chelsea F.C. made him a midfield legend. The player from Ghana was not just an integral part of Chelsea’s defense but also scored several important goals for the club, something rare for a defensive midfielder. However, not many of us may be familiar with his origins and how his passion and work ethic led to his success.

Michael Essien was born in Awutu Breku, in Central Ghana. His interest in football was sparked in his hometown when he was a child, especially through his father’s influence, who was a former local professional player. Essien was not just passionate, but also a gifted footballer since childhood. At age 12, he relocated to Accra with his mother and siblings, and two years later would go on to win a football scholarship to a secondary school in Cape Coast, where he shined as a player and went on to play for the U-17 Ghana Football Team. He got his big break during the FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he performed brilliantly and got offers from top clubs including Manchester United, however his mother preferred that he play in France, and he went on to play for French club SC Bastia in 2000. Essien’s physical style of play and excellent work ethic led to interest from top French club Lyon, which he joined in 2003, and went on to win the French League for two consecutive years, being named the French Player of the Year in 2005, and also being a nomination for the FIFA World Player of the Year. Michael Essien had arrived in the global football scene, he became a midfield force to be reckoned with.

In 2005, Essien shifted to Chelsea F.C. for a transfer of 24.4 million pounds, making him the club’s most expensive signing at that time. Playing in the high-profile Premier League team made him one of the best and most coveted midfielders in the world. He scored his first goal for Chelsea in 2006 against Tottenham Hotspur, from a low cross by Shaun Wright-Phillips. He was again nominated in 2006 for the FIFA World Player of the Year. He performed excellently for the Ghana team as well during the FIFA World Cup in 2006.

Essien had a very successful time at Chelsea, winning the Premier League twice in 2006 and 2010 and the FA Cup thrice, in Essien had a very successful time at Chelsea, winning the Premier League twice in 2006 and 2010 and the FA Cup thrice, in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Scoring several important goals, especially between 2006-08. Following his spell in the Premier League, he went on to play for other top clubs across Europe including Real Madrid and Milan, before moving on to Greece and then Australia to pursue his club career.

Essien remains an inspiring figure for football enthusiasts and aspirants across Ghana and Africa, but we should also recognize him for his passion and work ethic. Nicknamed the “Bison” for his hard playing style and his intense work-rate, it is the same passion and work ethic that we seek from our prospective students at the Edoofa Scholarship Program.

At Edoofa, we believe higher education is not restricted to academics alone, but also extends to an individual’s holistic development, so that our students can grow and be content mentally, physically, emotionally. We understand the importance of sports to a student’s happiness and physical well-being as well as the values sport inculcates such as team-work and leadership. That’s why our universities across India have sports facilities such as football ground, basketball court, volleyball court, etc.

With $7 Million worth of Scholarships and 1400 seats across the globe, Edoofa has a vision, to see Africa as a global leader of innovation, culture and growth. With this vision in mind, our global scholarship program has 400 Seats exclusively reserved for meritorious students across Africa. Admissions have started for the 2019 batch. For more information visit

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