ESSIEN TAKES UP FOOTBALL PUNDITRY

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Former Ghana international Michael Essien picked up a football punditry role as he tries to diversify from active playing, yet within the industry. The ex-Blues and Real Madrid man was live on a panel set up on Saudi-based MBC Sports. He made his debut in a temporary studio in Craven Cottage during a game in the Saudi Super Cup, local media report.

The Ghanaian joined the punditry moved to France to launch his professional career after earlier years in Ghana. He moved to Olympique Lyon, impressed before moving to Chelsea.

The talented player made his mark in the English side, and later became an ambassador for the club. He is still seen at some Chelsea games as a fan - if you fancy watching the Blues play at Stamford Bridge with him then this link will show you the latest availability.

He eventually featured on loan for Real Madrid. As his pace deteriorated, he moved to AC Milan on a free transfer deal. After two years there, he moved to Greece. He played for Panathinaikos last term, before making his debut as a pundit.

The local media sources claim this would be the first time the star would work as pundit, claiming that the deal was “hugely lucrative” compared to the Arab and Europe region standards. They place his earnings in the region of £5,000 per appearance. They add that Essien could get more offers in the role, especially in the Gulf region. Al Jazeera Sports operate in the region, and has offered former top stars like George Weah and Marcel Desailly offers in the past.

The job experience garnered could lead to continental broadcasting job with South Africa’s SuperSports, as well Sky Sports and BT Sport in the UK. Over 16,000 were in attendance as Essien made his debut. A lot of Saudi Arabian fans were reported to have flown to London to watch the game as Al Ahli and Al Hilal competed for the Super Cup. The 33-year old could retire from active football to punditry if he desires.