Derek Boateng hails Michael Essien's professionalism

Former Ghana international Derek Boateng has heaped praised on Michael Essien by applauding the professionalism and determination which he has carried over the course of his illustrious career.

The ex-Chelsea star is regarded as one of the finest footballers for Ghana and Africa as a whole, having won numerous honours including the Champions League and Premier League with the Blues.

Speaking on the Football Legends Night Show, Boateng hailed the consistency of Essien from his early days at the Under-17 level, he said: "Essien is so professional and you have no idea. Sometimes when we are on break in Europe and we come down to Ghana, Essien wouldn’t come because he was so determined to make it and he was the only player at the U-17 level who kept his position throughout the qualifiers to the tournament. Essien never lost form in his career and always kept his position. When we come for national assignment and scheduled to leave the next day, Essien leaves the same day and you can see how serious this guy is."

Essien, 34, travelled across Europe during his prime but he is most fond for his spell at Stamford Bridge, where he lifted two Premier League crowns, three FA Cup and the Champions League in a nine-year spell. The veteran has since featured for the likes of AC Milan and Panathinaikos, and he is currently in the ranks of Persib Bandung in the Indonesian top-flight.

The Blues favourite had apparently received from the Chinese Super League earlier this year, but he instead opted to join the newly-formed Liga 1, where he is the focus of attention. Essien has single-handedly driven crowds for Bandung, and his performances have not been bad either with five goals in 23 appearances. The midfield is currently the highest paid player in the division on wages of just over $650,000 a year, but he has received sponsorship deals to boost his income.