#SPORTS: Chelsea hero Michael Essien discloses his toughest opponent in football
Former Chelsea legend Michael Essien has said Paul Scholes and Steven Gerard were his hardest opponents in his career.
Now, 37, Essien delight in a greatly successful career at Chelsea, emerging one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the world.
At his eight years stay at the Stamford Bridge, the former Ghana international faced many best players, but only two stood out in his eyes.
“It’s between Steven Gerard and Paul Scholes. Those two players were quite tough to play against. They were not only good on the ball but they could tackle really hard. They were really tough but the Premier League was much more tough compared to now.”
“Every team you come up against was difficult so you have to try to be tougher.”
Essien has played for a host of top European clubs including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Lyon and Panathinaikos.
He played for Bastia in France after leaving Ghanaian outfit Liberty Professionals.
At Chelsea, he won the Premier League on two occasions (2005-2006 and 2009-10), four FA Cup titles, one League Cup, two Community Shields and the prestigious Uefa Champions League in 2012.
At international level, he represented Ghana at the 2002, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2006 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments.