Ex-Ghanaian international player Michael Essienis currently a member of the coaching staff at Nordsjaelland in the Danish Superligahaving recently made the step up into football management. Nordsjaellandis the start for Michael Essien as far as his coaching career is concerned, while Bastia was the start of his professional football career back in 2000.

Michael Essien left Bastia for fellow French team Lyon after three years at the club. The Ghanaian midfielder rejected a more lucrative offer from another French club in PSG before moving to Lyon in the summer of 2003 for a fee believed to be around €7.8m.

He was given the number 4 shirt upon his arrival at Lyon and assigned to a box-to-box role. He protected playmaker Juninho in the role, while the likes of defensive midfielders MahmadouDiarra and Edmilson worried more about shielding the defence.

Essien made his Lyon debut in the French Super Cup clash with Auxerre in 2003 and it didn't take long for him to register his first goal. He scored in the fifth minute to give Lyon the lead before the aforementioned Diarra added a second goal four minutes later. Lyon won the game 2-1 to land the trophy at stake. That French Super Cup was the first trophy of Michael Essien’s professional football career.

He would go on to score his first league goal in the third French Ligue 1 match of his debut season, a 3-1 win over AS Monaco. The Ghanaian also scored against Bordeaux and Rennes in the league that season. He scored three goals in 36 league outings as Lyon won the league title.

Essien also won the league title in his second and final season at Lyon before moving to Chelsea for around €26m. He played 37 times in the league that season and was rightly named the Player of the Year.