Ghanaians wouldn’t have seen the Michael Essien we know today had he taken this decision some years back.
In an exclusive interview with FIFA TV, Michael ‘Bison’ Essien has revealed that he almost rejected the call to join the Black Starlets of Ghana as a teenager and student had it not been for his mother. He was a member of the 1999 U17 squad who represent Ghana at the World Cup in New Zealand where they won the bronze medal. International scouts started taking notice of him and he had trials with Manchester United a year later, featuring for the club’s U17 side’s defeat to Derby County.
He continued to be one of the best midfielders in the world appearing 168 times for Chelsea between 2005 and 2014 scoring 17 goals. the ‘Bulldozer’ further capped 58 times for his national team the Black Stars finding the back of the net on 9 occasions.
When I was selected for the national under 17 side, I was in school at the time and my mum said, “It’s going to be a difficult one, do you really want to go? I think my answer was “no”.
However, he revealed that after sitting down with his mum whom he was more inclined to, he finally decided to give it a shot and that was the beginning of his success story.
My mom sat me down and said, “My son, you should go. So I had to take that sacrifice and move away from my mom and pursue my career.