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Michael Essien announces Ghana comeback

Published on: 08 May 2011


midfielder Michael Essien has announced his return to the national team after a one-year absence.

The Chelsea ace temporarily put his Black Stars career on hold last year after suffering two serious injuries while playing for the Black Stars.

But after regaining his form with the English side, Essien says he is available for selection for Ghana’s next game in June.

“I am fully ready to return to the Black Stars for our next Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo,” Essien told BBC Sport.

“After the two serious injuries I asked permission from the Ghana FA to excuse me from Black Stars duties to allow me to fully recover.

“They understood my situation and granted my request because of the injuries I had.

“I really want to help my country to qualify for the next year’s Africa Cup of Nations so I am ready to join my colleagues to help the country to qualify.”

Essien's absence from the national team has been the subject of intense debate amongst football fans in Ghana.

Some even speculated that he was contemplating retiring from the Black Stars but the Chelsea ace says it never crossed his mind.

“I still have a lot to offer my country and it never crossed my mind to retire from the national team,” Essien said.

“I have never ever said anything like that before. I love my country and I have a lot to give back.”

The injury forced him out of the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola and then the World Cup in South Africa.

Essien has not played for Ghana since a forty-five minute appearance at the 2010 Nations Cup.

The Black Stars will play Congo on 6 June in Group I of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.


  • Mutary gariba says:
    May 09, 2011 12:12 am
    That's good,we welcome u back,just that,the timing was some how good and bad.Good,cos,ur inclusion means a lot to Ghana,Bad,cos ur team lost to Man.United that very day!,hahaha!.WELCOME BACK!!
  • Nii Kwatei says:
    May 09, 2011 10:56 am
    @ Yaw No this means the end of Kwadwo not of Muntari. Essien and Muntari is the best duo ýou'd ever find. They've bee playing together since little boys.
  • kox says:
    May 09, 2011 04:41 pm
    beema, ayekoooO!! Pls y now? Pls stay n play in england (Chelsea) or to d stands n watch B. Stars games. Ur importance has eroded 4 d B. Stars squad, sorri oO! Pls u ned 2 announce ur intl. retirement rather. Sori 4 dis phrase, "otwaaa! lik dat"
  • saxcee says:
    May 09, 2011 09:13 am
    Do u guys have to criticise Annan just because Essien is back. Let's be careful about our utterances guys. He's been of help where essien was nowhere to be found.
  • Yaw says:
    May 09, 2011 07:44 am
    Annan has been vitally important to Ghana performances in recent years, he was one of the best performers in South Africa and was the subtle and understated base from which KPB and K.Asamoah could have a little freedom from. Essien is more suited to this position for Chelsea but for Ghana more is expected from him than him being a destruct and pass 5 yard player. He puts more responsibility on himself to effect play and would therefore be dragged out of position if he played the defensive mid in a 433 for Ghana Therefore, Annan's place in the team is not in doubt by Essien's return, it rather signals the end of Muntari's contest for a starting place. Annan, Essien and KPB provide a solid central partnership that most countries would be envious of. While K.Asamoah, J.Ayew, A,Ayew and S.Inkoom can offer options in wide positions. I agree with the overall idea that players should be selected based on merit and current form, however Essien would of course be selected based on merit. Players do need to be re-assessed as they grow older, especially players who are getting into their late 30s like Essien, Agyeman-Badu, Paintsil, Annan and Mensah. Their legs will finally start to fail them, Mensah is the furthest along this failure, at the moment. Its important to know which central midfielders are coming through at the moment of Black Stars quality, not old men pretending to be 18years playing in lower leagues. So the progression of the squad can be flawless.
  • truthisbitter says:
    May 09, 2011 07:52 am
    World Champions my foot........was he not in the team at the CAN 2008 hosted here in Ghana..........why didn't they lift the cup??? Selection should be by fitness and No preferential treatment even though he is at the peak of his career,one thing is obvious,these professionals give more to club than country and most times their level of competitiveness is high because they play with the best players around the world but left on their own most times in their national colors they lack ideas.
  • boss says:
    May 09, 2011 01:45 am
    anthony annan...hahaahahahhahhaha
  • nab says:
    May 09, 2011 12:41 am
    Now that Chelsea have failed to win anything Michael has dicided to play for Ghana to regain his form for them next season.
  • chiches says:
    May 09, 2011 12:04 am
    We have been good without him, in fact better without him. He is not indispensable,and he can go on retirement for all I care. On his return to the team, he should fight for a position like every one else. No preferential treatment. Based on current form, he does not deserve to walk straight into the starting 11.
  • kwaku says:
    May 08, 2011 11:53 pm
    when was the last time u saw Anthony Annan playn?my friend some are born to be special!!! dont forget that..Michael is no doubt!! he is indeed a very special player and his qualities are indescribable!!welcome back Michael!! thumps up!! homeboy!!
  • kwaku says:
    May 08, 2011 11:30 pm
    He should not have any special treatment. Inclusion to the Black Stars line-up should be based on his merit and nothing else. Quite frankly, Anthony Annan should be considered a first choice given his current performance.
  • tamakloe maulli says:
    May 09, 2011 04:40 pm
    anthony pablo annan is better than essien .... go to hell if yu not walking my way ....
  • thecockerel says:
    May 09, 2011 02:00 am
    It's amazing how short the memories of some Black Stars fans can be. Does anyone seriously believe that the Black Stars will be a worse side with Michael Essien in the starting lineup? Welcome back Michael!
  • Fu-Chu says:
    May 09, 2011 02:28 am
    This is my assesment on Michael Essien: Have watched him at Chelsea this year it appears that his skills are eroding. Take today's game against Man U for example, he was very tentative and did not charge forward at all. His challenges were meek. With that said he can help us qualify for the African Cup and World Cup because the competition in Africa is not stellar. Just my 2 cents...
  • Nana says:
    May 09, 2011 03:06 am
    I think he shdnt b called into d team.There's something called DEDICATION,look at David beckham upon all dat he has done for England dis guy typically FIGHTS n wants to DIE for d English team.he's humble n upon any SERIOUS INJURY he wl still play for England.NOT Michael essien.who wants to jump in n out of d Ghana team.we shd use him as an example 2 show d upcoming ones IT IS AN HONOUR TO PLAY FOR GHANA.not to play for urslf to regain form or to kickstart ur caterer.essien go n let d blackstars rot.afta all we hv "FAILED" without u...right???
  • Brontortor!!! says:
    May 09, 2011 04:20 am
    I don't get some of you people. How can you open your mouth and say "based on current form Essien does not deserve a place in the Black Stars starting 11"? Do you watch football? You actually think Annan is a better player than Essien based on current form? Let's forget about previous seasons and past accolades. Which Ghanaian midfielder is better than Essien at this moment? In fact, which Ghanaian player is playing regularly at this level? You could mention Ayew and KP Boateng, and that's all there is. So, in terms of current form, ability, acumen, stamina and skill, I'm sorry, but Essien is miles ahead of any other Ghanaian player, period! So those of you calling for justification for inclusion, there's your justification. If he's good enough to start for Chelsea and play in every game, he's damn well good enough to start for the Black Stars. Ghanaians must learn to be objective and stop all this nonsense. When you break your knee for Ghana, then you can criticize the players. Until then just hush!!
  • Nana says:
    May 09, 2011 05:42 am
    Are u serious....if u are saying Selection should be based on merit then micheal will just walk into our team....he is world class and will always bring something special to our team whether you like it or not and please when was the last time your saw anthony annan play? real my friend
  • Musah Fifa says:
    May 09, 2011 05:55 am
    Michael Essien you are wellcome to the Black Stars,it's when lion is not at home a tiger said he's the king but when he's back they all run and hide, look you can't compare Essien with Anan, Anan get a chance to play for B/Stars because we have no option, but when the owner is back then he should go back to where he belongs, that is that, Essien well come again.
  • stallion says:
    May 09, 2011 06:22 am
    We as Ghanaians are so gullible; some of these players would continue to take us for a ride. Is this the kind of precedence we want to set for the up and coming young players? That they can choose when and when not to play for the national team? Our attitude of blindly worshiping people with money and power is why we would continue to be a third world and poor country.
  • dob says:
    May 09, 2011 06:46 am
  • philosopha says:
    May 09, 2011 06:48 am
    To brontortor and all Thank you my brother, everybody must listen to this guy. the brazilian and all other europeans are all time better than us in football why? because they criticise their players like we Ghanians or African. so please let us all stop all this and support our motherland Ghana to go far. God bless black star and all the players.
  • esakoh says:
    May 09, 2011 06:48 am
    all those who speaks against his comeback now do not understand football bt just wake up to make follish comments; please those guys shd be watching African Movies.
  • Ghanas Son says:
    May 09, 2011 06:52 am
    Welcome back Essien
  • philosopha says:
    May 09, 2011 06:54 am
    Sorry they don't criticise their players.. this happen when your mind is faster than your hands.
  • kwame says:
    May 09, 2011 07:02 am
    Kwaku, ESSIEN will start for any any team on this planet looking at his qualities on the field. Hoe can u compare annan who is not does not even start for schalke 04 to essien. we should all be happy he is back because with him, we have a formidable team that can beat any team.
  • Abrantie - In Da House says:
    May 09, 2011 07:20 am
    Tell am more, tell am more Nana!! Some people just hide behind their hate, and talk by heart without using their heads!! How can you compare anthony annan to Michael huh? Annan should infact rather be careful, he doesn't lose his first team position, since M.Essien and K.P Boateng are both doing good for their teams, while Annan is not getting anymore selection at schalke. The two (ME und KPB) have proved their worth upfront, which Annan can't even dream of. We all love the Natinoal Team, so please allow the best to run for the team and stop running your mouths.
  • Abrantie - In Da House says:
    May 09, 2011 07:27 am
    @Chiches...."We have been good without him, in fact better without him". Indeed!! Have ever sat down for a while and tought about, how it would have been if he were included? We might have infact been the World Champions last year!! Yes!! If anyone asks you just tell the person I Abrantie said that!! Just imagine KPB, M.Essien, and Dede the team!! My gosh!! Use your head for a while!!
  • malik029 says:
    May 09, 2011 07:57 am
    long time hope all of you are doing well nice to be back God bless you all
  • Nana Adjei says:
    May 09, 2011 08:03 am
    Essien welcome back. The vast majority of Ghanaians welcome you whole heartedly. @ Nana, Fu Chu and Chiches we know nothing about football. I agree with Esakoh that you guys should be watching Nigerian movies.... Essien has done what many have not done for thier country including these people trying to critcise him. He's done soo well for Ghana and Essien we welcome you to the Black Stars
  • NANA MARKUS says:
    May 09, 2011 08:08 am
  • Awudu Moro says:
    May 09, 2011 08:11 am
    Champion Essien welcome back. Too much meat doesn't spoil the soup. Just imagine Essien back in the Black Stars with Andre Ayew, Kevin Boateng, Derek Boateng, Anthony Annan. This makes Ghana stronger. To all the Essien haters go and burn the sea. We love it.
  • Abrantie - In Da House says:
    May 09, 2011 09:51 am
    World Champions could be your foot, who cares? Does it take one person to make a team? The team at the WC was totally different from the team that played the that ANC U r talking about and so were the coaches... Your arguments above even support what I am saying. I am only of course talking about fit classy Essien. He himself withdrew to allow others to play when he felt not fit. So what is your problem? No team on this earth can afford to deny Essien a place in the first 11 if he is really fit, so simply shut the f**k up, stop hating, and at least for mother Ghana's sake, use your your God given head for a while!! A fit essien is simply undeniable!!
  • truthisbitter says:
    May 09, 2011 08:17 am
    What a harsh way of criticize Annan.....hmmmmmmmmmm this shows how un-grateful some people are......despite his efforts and service to his country and the joy he brought to thousands of faces in as many matches he has played for the BS...........hmmmmmm very harsh indeed bro
  • Awudu Moro says:
    May 09, 2011 08:21 am
    Are you retarded Kwaku? Is there any player in the Ghana squad with performance and pedigree like Essien? If you hate dont guy dont let it cloud your judgement.
  • Lipo says:
    May 09, 2011 05:04 pm
    Very good news for Ghana, very good news for football !! Welcome home, Michael Essien !!! Let's play for win ! We have a strong midfield with Kevin-Prince Boateng, A. Annan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Sulley A. Muntari, E. Agyemang-Badu, André Ayew, Derek Boateng, Opoku Agyemang, Rahim Ayew and MICHAEL ESSIEN.7 Maybe the best in the world ! We have good chances...
  • kwaku says:
    May 09, 2011 05:16 pm
    Micheal Essein may have been a special player, but as I Chelsea fan who watches him game after game, I have to admit that his current form is in decline. And will attest that the vast majority of Chelsea fans and sport writers all agree on this. I have nothing against Micheal...all I am saying is that dedicated players in current form willing to sacrifice for the Black Stars should be given the opportunity in the starting line-up.
  • Big E says:
    May 09, 2011 10:58 am
    with Essien coming back i think we have the best formidable midfield in the world. So there will be: Essien, Annan, K.P.B, D. Boateng, Muntary, K, Asamoah, D. Ayew, B. Badu, etc. I mean at the 2010 WC should dede Ayew played against uruguary we would have gone to the semis, and should Essien took part we would have won the world cup.
  • Topsey says:
    May 09, 2011 11:39 am
    Nice, welcome back. Maybe Essien coming back will help his club form.
  • kwaku says:
    May 09, 2011 05:28 pm
    To all those who wrote rubbish against me: Yes Micheal Essein may be a special player, but as a Chelsea fan who watches him game after game his current form is in decline. And most chelsea fans and sport writers alike all agree to this notion. I have nothing against Micheal and wish him a speedy turn around, but the selection to Black Stars line-up should be based on current form and player's dedication to the cause.
  • Fabs says:
    May 09, 2011 12:46 pm
    Why can't you people comment without insulting anyone that disagrees with you...why on Ghana websites do we have this stupid mentality? For those who are now insulting Anthony Annan it's sad to see people making fun of a player who has been solid for Ghana for 3 years. You want Essien back...he's back, now grow up and stop insulting those of us who feel that Essien's announcement doesn't mean that he shouldn't be in form to have an automatic starting place.
  • Yaw Dompreh says:
    May 09, 2011 12:56 pm
    Is all good if he wants to come. the issue Essien was not whether he was a bad player it's always been his commitment to the national course so I don't see the problem here. And the guys who held the mantle when he was away should not be called names now. I think is only fair that the coach give everybody an equal chance to justify their selection
  • Anonymous says:
    May 09, 2011 12:56 pm
    Glad he's back
  • kk says:
    May 09, 2011 01:07 pm
    welcome back Essien.....all the best...i never doubted ur love for ur a soccer player myself...and i kno what its like to give ur best...God bless Ghana
  • tbdarko says:
    May 09, 2011 02:08 pm
    Welcome back Essein........ some of u need to just forget the past and move on...... after all, it was Ghana that rather betrayed him when he was injured. Ghana didnt spend a single cedis on his medical bills even dough he was hurt twice on international duty. Chelsea took all the bills. So please guyz let it go. Yes we've done well witout him but his inclussion to the team will be even BETTER.
  • Hmm... says:
    May 09, 2011 02:37 pm
    bad newsssssssssss!essien is back.
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 02:43 pm
    Nana i totally agree with u..Now some people are here crictizing Annan becos he is not playing at shakle ..Go ahead and do it becos ya'll have sad lives
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 02:52 pm
    Truthisbitter,Know wonder your name is truthisbitter...i love is ....the truth is the truth and u said it all..U see how some ghanaians can be...wait and see Annan days will surely come,...And those criticized,haters and sad lives people on here will come and say whatever they wanna say....God bless mother ghana
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 02:58 pm
    Stallion correct for one hundred and forty five point... for God sake if u looking at age wise Annan and Essien who will be the next generation of black stars.. U can be happy that Essien is back but dont throw stones at Annan,where was Essien all this year busy making money at chelshit and come here telling me; u love your country...for God sake who here dont love ghana?
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:00 pm
    Dob how can i contact u ?
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:05 pm
    Yaw...I cant stop laughing
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:07 pm
    Saxcee say that again..Ghanaians forget so easy
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:08 pm
    Nii Kwatei that is not true
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:13 pm
    Interligent Fabs,,, u said it all..wait untill they get on playing snd Essien mess up this same people with sad lives will come on here talking shit
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:14 pm
    Wise saying Yaw
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 03:16 pm
    Hmm...U are funny,anyway u spoke your
  • john says:
    May 09, 2011 03:34 pm
    Ghana, Ghana, Ghana. what a nation ? i really dont know what our ppl want. lets all not forget this players read our comments n alot MIGHT discourage this guys. Annan, Essien, Boateng have all than great to the national team. this is not the time to point fingers n pick the best and worse. Thank God essien is well and back,, a great motivational. Now lets let the coach/board do the rest. ONE LOVE
  • A*S*E*M says:
    May 09, 2011 06:12 pm
    Hahahahaha Listen to the guy go by the name (icanstopbeingarshitnalfun)hater hahahahaa !!!
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 09, 2011 07:47 pm
    ASEM U are the hater and Ass kisser... Keeping kissing Essien ass and u will not even get is door as security...
  • Kenneth Owusu Sabato says:
    May 09, 2011 08:04 pm
    Ahhh ba! Kweku.Pls be fair to urself. Anthony Annan is not a bad player, but Essien is way above him.Essien will walk strait into any squad in the world including the Brazilian and the Agentinian national teams. Am serious.
  • Musah Fifa says:
    May 09, 2011 09:08 pm
    My sister are you a commentator toady? hahahaha,i saw all the comment you make, very nice, but are you off today? am wondering how do you have time for all this comment you try i like it,is only am not on your side today, but all the same i like the way you do.
  • Musah Fifa says:
    May 09, 2011 09:31 pm
    thank you Kenneth Owusu Sabato, people have to said the truth, look we are not against Annan, he is a good player when Essien is absent but if Essien is around he have to take his place simple, let me tell you something in Ghana we have no player like Essien today people have to agree with that, even Annan him self knows that, because if you bench Essien and field Annan, Ghanaians will kill you, we all know that, no coach will do that mistake.
  • A*S*E*M says:
    May 09, 2011 11:45 pm
    Yo Bro this got nothing to do with Ass-Kissing Essien !!! The fact is you are {Arshitnal fun Ooops}(Arsenal fun Init) Oh Ooh I get it,check out the EPL table and come back to me as you claim be Arshitnal fun Oh i did it again Arsenal fun Hater LOL ..! Also think about the last Six Yrs Trophy-less ha, live Essien alone hater get a life !!! I cant stop being Chelsea Fun:ha ha hahaha :-) Welcome back Michael*****.
  • tbdarko says:
    May 10, 2011 12:27 am
    To all those hating on Essien, u will soon jump on a bandwagon. I guarantee u that Essein can walk on any team, Barca,Madrid,Brazil National Team or Spain and he will be a STARTER right of the back. I will not take anything from Anthony Annan but please dont compare him to Essein.Essein is one of the best midfielders in the world and any coach can testify to that. He will walk on to the black stars team and be a starter right of the back cuz his service will be a major boost. IF U DONT LIKE IT U CAN COMOT!
  • chiches says:
    May 10, 2011 01:12 am
    and they both have been poor recently. We need to select players based on form, not sentiments.
  • chiches says:
    May 10, 2011 01:26 am
    tdarko, u are being sentimental, and not objective. Dont be silly. Based on his current form, who in Barca, Madrid, Spain etc can he replace in the starting line up?
  • chiches says:
    May 10, 2011 01:30 am
    I respect your views on this platform, but i think Kweku has a point. I have been watching Chelsea in the EPL, and Essien is playing very poorly. He also does not look fully fit. IMO, he should regain full fitness; both mental and physical. of course a player of his calibre is welcome in any team in the world, but i feel his absence has allowed the likes of Anthony, KPB, Asamoah to flourish.
  • icantstopbeingarsenalfun says:
    May 10, 2011 05:18 am
    ASEM JUST LET ME KNO YOUR TEAM AND I WILL TELL U SOMETHING... u are ass kisser beocosi have folloe many of your comment here concerning Essien...
  • Musah Fifa says:
    May 10, 2011 05:58 am
    he said he is Chelsea fun, Attack him, am now off to work later, bye
  • A*S*E*M says:
    May 10, 2011 05:11 pm
    Thanks Bro Musah Fifa he can run but he can't hide, is just too much for him to handle lol !!! i cant stop being Arshitnal fun :-( Icantstopbeingchelseafun :-) Yo Men give it up ha hahaha !!!
  • obofour says:
    May 27, 2011 08:06 pm
    welcome back michael,we have the best of squad now!!! even his presences shakes mosts countries ,so u see all frnds of Annan , current form or not Micky is still de best .. we have a cement team