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Michael Essien is a versatile midfielder currently playing for Chelsea. After starting out with Liberty Professionals in his homeland of Ghana, Michael moved to France to play for Bastia. It was whilst he was with the Corsican club that he first earned international recognition, making his debut for Ghana in January 2002. The following year he moved to French champions Lyon, and won back-to-back league titles as well as the 2005 Player of the Season award. His success led to a move to Chelsea, where he has remained ever since, playing in a number of positions. A natural box-to-box player, Michael has incredibly high levels of physical strength and stamina, but also has the ability to play almost anywhere. He often adopts a more defensive role for Chelsea - occasionally filling in across the defensive line - but plays in a more advanced role for his country, which is reflected in his high scoring record. Michael represents Ghana at international level and was a regular in the side as they qualified for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, but was unable to play for the Black Stars in South Africa due to a knee injury suffered at the 2010 African Cup of Nations. He will miss much of the 2011-12 club season due to suffering another serious knee injury. © 2011 - PFA Player Profiles
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