Following his breakthrough season with Lyon, where he won two Ligue 1 championships, Essien had a trophy-laden career that lasted over 15 years.
When Chelsea paid £24.4 million to buy him out of Lyon in 2005, he was the club’s record signing.
He stayed at Stamford Bridge for nearly ten years, assisting the Blues to numerous Premier League and FA Cup triumphs as well as the UEFA Champions League in 2012.
Prior to retiring following a brief stint with the Azerbaijani team Sabail FK, the 40-year-old had played for Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Since then, Essien has transitioned into management and is now a first-team assistant coach at FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark.
The Ghanaian is one of many luminaries helping FIFA out at the ongoing Qatar 2022 World Cup in a variety of ways.
Emiliano Martinez was the greatest goalkeeper during the competition, according to Essien during a Q&A session with the world’s football governing body.
Additionally, he selected England’s Jude Bellingham as the greatest midfielder of the World Cup and France’s Raphael Varane as the finest defender.
When asked to name any former athlete who might still be a professional, a joyful Essien laughed and backed himself up.
Former Chelsea and Real Madrid player remarked, “With the guys I’m seeing now, I think I’m the only one who can still play.”