Jose Mourinho Pays Tribute To Michael Essien

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Jose Mourinho has paid a tribute to former Chelsea manager Michael Essien in an interview with Malaysian sports channel Astro Supersport. The Portuguese tactician has said that Essien was more than a player to him and he considers himself as ‘his white daddy’ owing to their close relationship at Stamford Bridge.

He said: “He was not my player, he is my son – I am his white daddy. He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid. He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality.”

Essien was recruited from Lyon during the summer of 2005 and he thereafter played an instrumental role at the heart of the club’s midfield despite the dismissal of Mourinho. During his period in west London, the Ghanaian won two Premier League titles and four FA Cup crowns but his biggest achievement to date remains the Champions League triumph in 2011/2012.

Since leaving the Blues, the midfielder has spent time with the likes of AC Milan and Panathinaikos and he was most recently involved during the inaugural edition of the Indonesian top-flight - where he plyed his trade for Persib Bandung. During his time in the Far East, he managed to command the highest salary package among the foreign players and his year-long stint saw him amass five goals in 29 appearances.

Essien is currently a free-agent following his release from Bandung earlier this year but the 35-year-old has stressed that he has yet to make his mind up over a possible retirement from the game. Essien has previously talked up the chance of playing for his hometown club Liberty Professionals at the backend of his career and he could yet realise his ambition before calling quits.