John Mensah names Michael Essien as the best player in past two decades

Former Ghanaian captain John Mensah admits that Michael Essien is the best player he has played with in the past two decades.

The 34-year-old has features for the likes of Lyon and Rennes in a 16-year career, but he shares a fond relationship with Essien with whom he enjoyed success with the Black Stars.

In an interview with Football 360, Mensah was asked the player who has impressed him the most in the past two decades for which he brought up the name of compatriot Essien. The former Chelsea man had featured for the Black Stars at their maiden World Cup in 2006 before he missed the 2010 event with a knee injury.

However, the Black Stars revelled during the showpiece tournament, and they could have reached the semi-final stage, had it not been for Luis Suarez's 'Hand of God' which took the game to penalties, where the African nation lost out. Ghana did not enjoy a similar success four years later, but they still managed to earn a credible draw against champions Germany in the group stage.

Ghana are currently placed at the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with just three games to go, and Mensah admits that the nation are better off winning the next African Cup of Nations rather than trying to qualify for another international tournament, he said: "I will choose both World Cup qualification and Afcon trophy but Ghanaians want the Afcon trophy more than the World Cup. So yeah if I have to choose one, I will go for winning the Afcon."

Mensah has not made an appearance for Ghana since 2012, and his international career looks to have ceased similarly to Michael Essien, who is now with Indonesian side Persib Bandung. The 34-year-old has become an instant hit with the Far East nation, but one cannot ignore that level of competition is far off from his days at Stamford Bridge.