Michael Essien (born December 3, 1982 in Ghana) is a Ghanaian International footballer. He currently plays for Chelsea in the English Premier League. He is a central midfielder and plays as a deep-lying playmaker for the Black Stars, the Ghana national football team.
Born in Accra to Ghanaian parents Aba Gyandoh and James Essien, Michael began his career in a local club in his native Ghana, called Liberty Professionals FC after graduating from St Augustine College. He broke through when he played in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand. This led to considerable attention from European scouts.