JOHANNESBURG – Ghana legend Michael Essien may have had a successful stint in Europe but he concedes he’s open to a move to the Premier Soccer League before calling time on his football career.
The 36-year-old defensive midfielder, who’s currently on the books of Azerbaijan-based club Sabail FK, has had a glittering career that included spells with Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan. However, it was with the Blues where Essien made a name for himself, winning the Premiership twice and coveted Uefa Champions League.
While it may be that he’s mostly used to European football having signed his professional contract with French side Lyon in 2003, Essien is also a household name in Africa - playing an integral role in the Black Stars’ resurgence over the years.
In the past few seasons, Richard Ofori, the Maritzburg United goalkeeper, has been the Ghanaian’s flag bearer in the PSL, inspiring the Team of Choice to retaining their top-flight status last term. However, Kaizer Chiefs recently added a Ghanaian to their roster, signing defensive midfielder James Kotei from Tanzanian-based side Simba Sports Club during the transfer window.
“SA is not bad, I would like to come here,” said Essien, who’s the global ambassador of beer brand Budweiser in their new partnership with the English Premier League and La Liga.
“You can never say never, I am keeping my options open. I love football, I love football ... I have played it my whole life. So, I am not thinking about retirement at all (for now).”