How Chelsea tried everything possible to get Michael Essien fit for 2010 World Cup

Essien Former Ghana international, Michael Essien

Fri, 31 Mar 2023 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

In 2010 when Ghana participated in the World Cup in South Africa, the Black Stars were without one of their key players - Michael Essien.

Essien played a crucial role in Ghana’s qualification to the 2010 FIFA World Cup but unfortunately, injury ruled him out of football’s holy grail, the World Cup.

So how did Essien get injured?

In Ghana’s first match at the 2010 African Cup of Nations, Essien who was Ghana’s captain in the match picked up a knee injury after a collision with his Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba. Essien came off worse and had to miss the rest of the games at the tournament.

Despite losing their first match to Ivory Coast, the Black Stars made it to the final of the tournament without Essien and lost to eventual winners Egypt.

Chelsea's effort to get Essien fit

After the tournament which ended in January-February, Chelsea Football Club made efforts to get the Bison back to action but unfortunately, doctors recommended that Essien needed more time off the pitch to rest and recover from the injury.

Frank Arnesen who was the former Technical Director at Chelsea disclosed in an interview that, the club flew the Ghanaian player to France for medicals.

He disclosed that although the club wanted to get the player back in action so he plays for Ghana at the World Cup, the club had no option but to wait for the Essien to fully recover.

“He had a bad knee injury and we went to Paris and our doctors said he cannot play because it's too demanding and he needs to rest,” Arnesen told 3Sports.

He added, “when we came back, I explained it to the President and staff of the Ghana Football Association and they fully agreed. They said yes, he has to play [at the World Cup] but don’t take any risk because you need him for the next year and he is a very important player.”

After recovering from his injury Essien decided to exempt himself from national duties to focus on his club career with Chelsea, having suffered two significant injuries while playing for the Black Stars.

Essien return to the Black Stars in August 2013 for the World Cup Qualifiers a season after helping Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

He was subsequently named in Ghana’s squad for the 2014 World Cup under coach Kwasi Appiah where the country exited at the group stage.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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